An MP has warned vast swathes of idyllic mid Wales could be blighted by the “ugly stain” of more windfarms.
Powys council is currently consulting on amendments to its local development plan, which sets out the broad guidelines for future planning policy.
As part of that, a number of areas of the county which could be designated for sites for the production of wind and solar energy have been identified by the Welsh Government.
But now Chris Davies, the Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire , has written to Powys council leader Barry Thomas to express his concerns.
“The turbines are an ugly stain on the beautiful hills of Brecon and Radnorshire and have been shown to deter tourists from visiting areas in which they are abundant,” Mr Davies wrote.
“With many businesses in our area reliant on the tourism trade to survive, I cannot see the justification for imposing more turbines on the most beautiful area of the Wales.”
He added: “While I do understand that we need an energy mix in the UK to ensure our energy security, this should not come at the expense of our beautiful landscapes.
“We should be working to preserve the most beautiful areas of the UK, such as Brecon and Radnorshire, not working to destroy them for future generations…”
The Brecon and Radnor branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales has also indicated its hostility.
“The new search areas would have massive impacts on landscapes, communities, and the natural environment throughout Powys,” a statement on its website read.
“They would seriously damage the thriving mid-Wales tourist industry. These impacts have not been thought through or considered under the legally required environmental assessment procedures.”
Powys council has pointed out that it has voiced its concerns at the number and size of windfarms in the county.
And Avril York, Powys council cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said the council had run a full six-week consultation – ending this coming Monday – on the “further focused changes” to its LDP.
Those changes include proposals which identify the local search areas for renewable energy.
Coun York added: “The further focused changes are necessary in order to address previous responses made by the Welsh Government, which reflect ministerial support for local authorities across Wales to optimise renewable energy contributions through their LDPs.”
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