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Powys wind farm project approved by UK Government  

Credit:  By Anwen Parry | County Times | www.countytimes.co.uk ~~

A new wind farm between Llanbrynmair and Llanerfyl can be built after the project was approved by the UK Government.

The UK Government had originally refused the 30-turbine wind farm, but the decision was later quashed by the High Court in 2015, following a Judicial Review submitted by RES as the project developer.

Now six years later, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Kwasi Kwarteng has decided that consent should be given for the 60MW development to go-ahead.

RES’ Head of Wind Projects, John Boyce added: “This a great day for renewable energy in Wales and for the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.

“Llanbrynmair, and the other renewable energy projects like it being developed in Wales, will provide significant inward investment and generate low-cost energy. This will help Wales to both create and retain the sustainable, skilled jobs needed in a low carbon economy.”

RES estimates that the Llanbrynmair Wind Farm will deliver at least £8 million in local economic investment through the use of local companies and services.

In a decision letter published on Friday (December 17), head of energy infrastructure planning Gareth Leigh said: “In reaching his decision, the Secretary of State has attached substantial weight to the urgent need for new (and particularly low carbon) generating infrastructure of the capacity of the Development. The Secretary of State considers that the amendment of the target in the Climate Change Act 2008 on 26 June 2019 increases the weight that should be attached.

“Whilst recognising the adverse effects of the Development in terms of landscape and visual impact and tourism, the Secretary of State notes that the harm would be limited to the operational life of the Development, and he considers that the benefits of the Development in terms of landscape and visual impact arising from forestry clearance and moorland restoration at least balance out its adverse effects in the longer term. Further, the Development would provide a net long-term gain in terms of habitats and biodiversity.

“Whilst accepting there will be disruption and inconvenience from construction traffic (including AILs) during the construction and maintenance of the Development, the Secretary of State is satisfied that they can be minimised to an acceptable level by the traffic management plans to be secured by planning conditions.

“The Secretary of State is also satisfied that the Development’s impacts on hydrology, hydrogeology and peat would be mitigated by the planning conditions and be acceptable. Flood risk would be mitigated by plans to raise the water table. Impacts on cultural heritage assets would be acceptable. There would be no significant harm to health from noise, vibration and shadow flicker. The Secretary of State is satisfied that concerns relating to AM noise can be adequately addressed by inclusion of a planning condition. His conclusion is that, on balance, the benefits of the Development outweigh its adverse impacts.”

Renewable energy company RES will now review the post consent conditions and work with a range of stakeholders to deliver the project.

Consent was not granted for the proposed AIL access scheme via the road from Llanerfyl to Talerddig.

Source:  By Anwen Parry | County Times | www.countytimes.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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