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Wind turbine public inquiry could have big impact on North Wales  

Credit:  By North Wales Daily Post | 5 June 2013 | www.dailypost.co.uk ~~

Opponents of Wind Turbines are keeping a close watch on a public inquiry that started yesterday in Powys, that could have far reaching consequences for the North Wales landscape

An alliance of 21 organisations – 17 of them Welsh conservation and protest groups – are opposing plans by six energy developers for northern Powys.

Opponents of turbines and pylons handed over a petition to the inquiry on Tuesday which has been signed by nearly 7,480 people.

On Anglesey, wind turbines, although not on such a large scale as Powys, have also been a hot political potato.

Protest group, Anglesey Against Wind Turbines (AAWT) has been formed as part of a backlash against wind turbine planning applications.

Mairede Thomas of AAWT, said: “It could be very significant so we will be keeping an eye on proceedings and the outcome.

“As a groups we would support, the Wales Government who want to see decisions on energy projects of up to 100MW devolved to Wales.

“We would like to see it take a step further and see decisions devolved down to local government level.

“Secondly planning decisions flow from policy, and we feel that the policy at the moment is not mitigating man made climate change.

“Economically it’s bad for manufacturing as companies are leaving here to set up in countries, not just due to the cost of labour or cheaper energy but so that they are not subject to the carbon floor controls.

“We feel that the policy is not addressing the problem, the sacrifice is too great when there’s no gain.”

Russell George, AM for Montgomeryshire, who was at the start of the inquiry, said: “Today was more about setting the scene, the argument will be very technical.

“The inquiry will break for summer and start again in September when it’s expected to be sitting more or less until March 2014.”

Richard Evans, of Renewable Energy Systems Ltd, feels the inquiry will lead to clarity on allowing onshore wind farms.

He said: “I’d stress that mid Wales is only a part of Wales. We’ve got good projects in north and south Wales as well but there’s no denying there’s a lot of megawatts trapped in that planning system in mid Wales.

“I think it is going to be quite important in terms of delivering Welsh government targets that we see a good amount of that capacity coming out successfully at the other end of the inquiry.”

The proposed wind farms at Llanbadarn Fynydd, Llaithddu, Llanbrynmair, Carnedd Wen and repowering Llandinam, all in northern Powys, are large scale and well above 50MW which means that a decision on the turbines will be taken in Westminster and not Cardiff.

The schemes are part of the target to achieve 15% of British energy from renewable sources by 2020. Combined, the planned output of these large wind farms could be over 500M

Powys Council are against the proposals and has earmarked £2.8m from reserves to fund the inquiry as it is only a statutory consultee for the 50MW 600 foot turbines that are proposed for the mid Wales countryside.

Source:  By North Wales Daily Post | 5 June 2013 | www.dailypost.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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