Proposals for new skyscraper wind turbines on Anglesey are set to be rejected amid claims the holiday isle has reached “saturation point” with farmers using their land for green energy schemes.
Airvolution Energy Limited want to build two 92.5m high 4.6 megawatt turbines and West Coast Energy want to add three 81m 800-900 kilowatt turbines.
Critics fear they would dominate the Anglesey skyline and damage tourism. The Airvolution turbines would stand higher than Cardiff’s second tallest building – the 90m-high Millennium Stadium.
Both schemes have been recommended for refusal by planners over concerns about the landscape, noise, and their closeness to listed buildings and historic sites.
The West Coast Energy scheme at Bryn Eryr Uchaf – near Menai Bridge, on the southeastern end of the island – is deemed unsuitable because of the impact on an “area of outstanding natural beauty” and the “nationally important landscape of Snowdonia”.
A report to go before Anglesey’s planners on January 7 says the location of the Airvolution scheme in Rhosgoch, on the northern side of the island, is “already considered to be saturated by wind turbine developments”.
Paul Madden and Mairede Thomas, from campaign group Anglesey Against Wind Turbines, have said it’s “absolutely right” the council refuse “industrial turbine applications”.
The Airvolution turbines would be built at Bodewryd Farm next to the firm’s two existing 92.5m-high turbines on Ysgellog Farm.
An investigation is under way into noise from the two existing turbines following complaints from residents.
West Coast Energy say their Menai Bridge scheme would generate clean power for 1,300 homes.
Airvolution say their existing two-turbine scheme, which has the same generating power as its proposed development, provides energy for 3,100 homes. They claim the new scheme would create £23,000 for a community benefit fund.
A spokesman for Airvoulution said the firm was “confident that this is an appropriately-sited wind energy project with valuable local benefits”.
A third application for a single turbine of 17.8m at Pen y Gogarth, in Llaneilian, is also recommended for refusal at the meeting. Officers say it would be “harmful” to the landscape and is too close to nearby houses.
Sara Powell-Davies, of industry body Renewables UK Cymru, said: “Renewable energy is essential if we are to cut our carbon footprint and councils should be looking for ways to encourage more schemes rather than barriers to block them.”
The Welsh Government has said it wants two gigawatts of energy to be sourced from renewables by 2015 but is also committed to protecting the nation’s “stunning natural environment”.
The UK Government’s Department for Energy & Climate Change has said it sees wind as crucial in enabling it to meet its target to have 15% of the nation’s energy sourced from renewables by 2020.
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