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Garn Fach: Second consultation launched into large wind farm near Newtown

Another consultation has been launched into plans for a large wind farm near Newtown.

EDF Renewables (EDF R) is seeking further feedback from residents to help shape plans for the proposed 22-turbine development at Garn Fach on the Montgomeryshire-Radnorshire border.

The company is unable to hold information events at village halls because of the current coronavirus restrictions, but is instead hosting an online exhibition, as well as writing to every household within a 10km radius of the site.

The proposed wind farm, which could power up to 59,000 homes every year, is on land farmed by 14 local families, all of whom are involved in the project.

EDF Renewables Director of Solar and Onshore Wind Development, Mark Vyvyan-Robinson said: “Garn Fach would make a positive contribution to our efforts towards the green recovery and meeting the Welsh Government’s targets to be generating 70 per cent of its electricity consumption from renewables by 2030 and to be carbon net zero by 2050.

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with 14 local farmers and their families and that Garn Fach will deliver significant benefits to the community.

“Our goal is that the wind farm will be seen as an asset in the community and in our collective fight to tackle climate change.”

The online exhibition consists of information panels, maps, photomontages showing what the 149.9-metre tall turbines might look like from different viewpoints, virtual flythroughs, and more.

A formal and statutory six-week pre-application consultation will take place in early 2021 before submitting a final planning application next year. The proposed Garn Fach Wind Farm is a Development of National Significance and will be assessed by the independent planning inspectorate with a final decision being taken by the Welsh Government in 2022.

If the plans are given the go-ahead, the turbine components will be delivered to a port in Merseyside before being transported with a police escort along the A483 from Chester to Newtown and then south of the Devil’s Elbow near Dolfor onto a minor road which serves the Llandinam Wind Farm.

The company said it remains committed to an annual community benefit fund for Garn Fach of £5,000 per MW which could mean around £550,000 per year (depending on the final capacity of the project) is available for local causes or £16.5 million over the 30-year lifetime of the project. EDF R added a commitment to local ownership and will offer local people and organisations the opportunity to invest and have an up to 10 per cent stake in the project.

Since January, a community liaison group of local representatives has been formed, and a meteorological mast – to record wind data – has been installed on site.

In Wales, EDF R owns and operates two wind farms, and has an operational and maintenance base in Aberystwyth. They included the 18-turbine Cemmaes Wind Farm near Machynlleth which is operational up until 2027, and Llangwyryfon Wind Farm near Aberystwyth which has 11 turbines with a tip height of 66 metres with an operational life up to 2028.

The consultation runs from Monday, October 26, to Monday, November 16.