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Turbine to be shut down at night to reduce risk to bats

A planned wind turbine at Llandysul will be switched off during the hours of darkness to minimise its risk to bats, members of Ceredigion County Council’s Development Control Committee have agreed.

In allowing the full planning application for a 60w, 32.6-metre turbine at Llain farm, Maesllyn, councillors elected to go against 89 letters of objection and a 28-name petition.Outlining their reasons for giving it the green light, members said local opposition had to to be counter-balanced by the needs of local farms to diversify and increasingly harness forms of green energy.In their report, officers said the structure would only operate during daylight hours to offset any potential risks to “foraging or commuting” bats – a requirement which had satisfied Natural Resources Wales.

This was greeted with scepticism by Cllr Dafydd Edwards who said: “I suggest we do away with that con-dition because I do not have much faith in Natural Resources Wales.”

Councillors were told the nearest property would be approximately 360 metres away from the turbine, which was expected to produce 140mw of electricity – enough to power the equivalent of around 31 homes.

Objectors claimed the turbine would create noise, interfere with TV and mobile phone reception, and impact on local tourism andwildlife.Resident Elaine Thomas said a number of points in the council’s report were misleading, claiming Maesllyn consisted of at least 103 houses – as opposed to “over 60 dwellings” suggested by officers.

“People objecting to this turbine feel it will have a negative impact on their lives in some way,” she added.“In June this year a businessman who depends on tourism took Powys County Council to court over two turbines and won his case.

“How can you grant permission for this when you have no evidence more electricity will be produced for this farm?”