Campaigners are facing a fresh battle against plans for enormous new wind turbines after the Ministry of Defence joined the debate.
A planning application for two 115m (to blade tip) high wind turbines on farmland near Bodelith Isaf, Llandderfel has been submitted to Gwynedd Council and permission has already been granted for an 80m high wind mast so tall the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has ordered a light to be fixed to the top.
Because of the mast’s position in a low fly zone the MOD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) was consulted and in response said that although the department had “no safeguarding objections to this proposal”, aviation warning lighting would have to be fitted “in the interests of air safety”.
A letter sent to the council from Di Sylvester at the DIO said: “The height of the development will necessitate that aeronautical charts and mapping records are amended.”
Karen Roden, spokesperson for the STEMM anti-windfarm campaign group said the impact of the mast and turbines on the land would be horrific.
“These turbines would be far bigger than any of the others around here,” she said.
“They’re completely and utterly out of scale for the area.
“And they’ll be facing Bala which could have an effect on tourism for the town.
“The wind mast (used to test the strength of wind before installing the turbines) is so tall they’re going to have to put cables up the side to keep it in place.”
She claimed the structure would be a major concern for wildlife, particularly protected birds such as red kites and hen harriers which are common in the area and could get caught in the cables.
Ms Roden described the wind farm application as another nail in the coffin for the Corwen to Bala corridor she said had been plagued by a number of wind turbine applications.
Despite enjoying recent success when Scottish Power Renewables announced a shock decision to withdraw plans for a wind farm on Mynydd Mynyllod last month, she warned STEMM would not become complacent.
“We can’t relax,” she added and warned that the introduction of so many wind turbines could also increase the chance of flooding.
“They’re cutting down trees and putting concrete bases into the ground in an area which already suffers from flooding.”
However, the applicant Stuart Watcham from Pennant Walters (BI) Limited said the project worked on the premise that “electricity produced from wind energy has a positive benefit compared to traditional forms of electricity generation” in terms of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
The wind farm displayed an “appropriate layout in terms of function and energy yield while trying to avoid or reduce environmental effects”.
The application read: “The proposed development has been developed with environmental considerations at the forefront of both site selection and design.”
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