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Fears over more Powys turbines

Fears that ‘the black cloud’ of wind turbines may again be descending over Powys continue to mount.

And campaigners are concerned that any potential decision to overturn previous refusals for such developments may open the door for others to get the green light.

The Secretary of State has called for high-profile decisions made regarding RWE Innogy’s 150MW Carnedd Wen proposal and the RES 90MW Llanbynmair application to be revisited after they were both refused as part of the Powys ‘Mega Inquiry’ in September last year.

The move has prompted concerns in the county that four years of campaigning to see them thrown out could prove to be in vain and spark new interest in similar future developments.

Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, says the battle is not lost following a meeting with Department of Energy and Climate Change ministers.

“We would all like to see this black cloud, which has been hanging over Montgomeryshire for many years, lifted, but we will have to wait a little while longer,” Mr Davies said.

“Personally, I’m relaxed about this. The previous inspector actually recommended approval and perhaps a new inspector might be persuaded to recommend refusal.

“It’s important that no possible excuse can remain for these absolutely determined developers to continue with their terrifying threats to mid Wales.

“I accept that the Secretary of State must give full consideration to these two applications.”

The developers decided to seek a Judicial Review into the process by which the decisions were reached.

After consideration, Secretary of State for energy and climate change, Amber Rudd, ruled that the best way forward was to quash the previous decisions for reconsideration.

Mr Davies said he hopes she will arrive at the same conclusions as those reached just four months ago.

However, campiagners fear that failure to do so could put the spotlight back on Powys as far as more potential renewable energy schemes are concerned, as well as re-awaken others dismissed during the same September 7 decision-making date.

They included controversial bids to construct 35km of new power lines to Welshpool from Llandinam windfarm, as well as proposed windfarms at Llaithddu and Llanbadarn

Alison Davies, chairman of Conservation of Upland Powys said: “We don’t know what is going on but the pressure on local people has not disappeared.

“If there is now a route through for these applications then they could still appear on the skyline.

“Other wind turbine applications are being considered regularly, such as ‘Carno 3’ and the one at Hirddell in Llanidloes.

“More than 150 applications for wind turbines have been submitted to Powys County Council since the start of 2013.

“If the two applications being redetermined get the go ahead it could open the door for a hub at Cefn Coch to get the go ahead too.”

Any such hub could reinvigorate shelved National Grid plans to run power lines from a potential Cefn Coch hub across Powys to Oswestry as part of its Mid Wales Connection Project.