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Residents oppose turbine plan

Plans for what would be the first community-owned wind turbine in Ceredigion have sparked objections. Villagers Cribyn and Llanwnnen attended a public meeting last week to consider plans for a 74-me-tre, 500kw turbine on land at Ffrwd farm, Cribyn.

The applicants, Swansea-based Seren Energy, will be seeking to raise £1.5 million through community ownership, should consent be given by Ceredigion County Council – although some residents have expressed caution over the scheme, and others have said they were unaware the meeting was taking place.

Steve Hack of Seren Energy said the Cribyn turbine could prove “ground-breaking”. He added: “We need to cut our CO2 emissions, but while we should be turning more things off all we seem to be doing is turning more things on – our energy demand is still going up.

” Mr Hack, a member of Friends of the Earth, said he was “excited” about the Cribyn project which enables people to take out shares in the turbine, ranging from £250 to £20,000. He said: “This is a really good opportunity for the community. “Normally wind turbines are owned by foreign companies and all the profits get sucked out of the com-munity.

“This turbine will be situated at Ffrwd farm which has been owned by the Evans family for generations.” Mr Hack maintained the bulk of the company’s £1.5m target would come from grants and loans. “As a community we’d be looking to find something like £300,000,” he said. “This project is now in the final stages prior to going before the county council’s planners.” However, Erika Davies, who runs Grannell Nursery in Capel y Groes, said only a minority of residents had been notified of the meeting.

“If you do not inform the local community how do you expect them to meet about this and become potential investors?” she said, adding: “No-one where we are or in Llanwnnen knew anything thing about this. “Given that Ceredigion is one of the poorest counties in the country I’m concerned that the bulk of investors will come from a long way away from this area.

“Most people, by a long way, are anti [wind turbine], in fact, I’ve yet to meet a single person who’s pro. “It’s not as if we’re anti-wind power by any means. “If the turbine was going to power the farm then we wouldn’t have a problem with it. “But this turbine is going to be industrial and profit-driven; it’s all about making money.”