A rural charity says it is “seriously concerned” after a 17-turbine windfarm was given the go-ahead to be built.
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) said it fears the Garreg Lwyd windfarm, near Beguildy, Knighton, will pose a threat to the landscape, rural economy and ecological balance.
The CPRW said it “deplores” the decision by the Welsh Assembly minister for natural resources Carl Sargeant to give the go-ahead for the development ahead of that for the five windfarm public inquiry.
Brian Drew, of the Montgomeryshire CPRW, said: “The organisation’s Montgomeryshire and Brecon & Radnor branches are seriously concerned at the threat posed to the outstanding landscapes, rural economy and the ecological balance of the area by the unprecedented number of applications in North Powys for industrial scale windfarms and their resultant infrastructure.
“Furthermore it deplores minister Carl Sargeant’s decision to uphold the appeal to construct 17 massive turbines at Garreg Lwyd, near Beguildy, on the borders of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire.
“The decision has been announced ahead of that for the five windfarm public inquiry, despite the inspector considering that although the damaging impact on the landscape of Garreg Lwyd alone may be ‘acceptable’ in a Strategic Search Area, cumulatively with other wind farms it could become unacceptable.
“Even as the Welsh Government launched the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill and announced that Wales’ heritage is precious and must be protected, the inspector noted severe effects of the windfarm on important Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The damaging impacts on tourism, a vital sector supporting our rural economy, was also acknowledged. Both factors have merited refusal of planning consent elsewhere.”
Mr Drew added: “Scant regard has been given to users of footpaths and bridleways, especially Glyndwr’s Way National Trail where walkers will experience views of, or walk through, the wind farm for some 24kms. That Natural Resources Wales, custodians of National Trails, and Powys Countryside Services failed to stand up for resources of such inestimable value to well being and tourism is deeply disturbing.”
The applicants RES (Renewable Energy Systems) said the project could deliver local economic benefits in excess of £4.5m through local contract awards and employment up to the first year of operation. Community benefit will total £153,000 per annum.
Development manager Chris Jackson said: “RES has maintained a consistent belief that this is a great project in a great location.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding