Westminster Support for STEMM from Local MP

PLEASE READ!  A MASSIVE thank you to Clwyd South MP, Susan Elan Jones, who yesterday raised the profile of STEMM’s campaign – not only against Scottish Power’s plans, but also in opposing other wind turbine applications in the Upper Dee Valley, including that at Syrior, Llandrillo – with a rousing speech in a Westminster debate on Offshore Wind Generation in North Wales. The text of the key parts of her speeches is below, but I have also included a link so that her remarks can be seen in the context of the whole debate, which also covered Anglesey.

 ‘If we are to do that (support green energy) sensibly and in a long-term and sustainable way, we must be careful about how energy policies are achieved and mindful of our choices when beginning new projects.

Let me share an example from my constituency, a proposal that even the writers of the most outlandish science fiction films could not have come up with. Imagine a designated area of outstanding national beauty—the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley—and then imagine plans for onshore wind turbines to be placed just outside it. That is the Mynydd Mynyllod wind farm proposal: 25 turbines, each 145 metres tall, at the foot of the Berwyn mountains. They would be placed in a non-TAN 8 area, an area not specifically designated for wind farms, and would each stand one and a half times the height of Big Ben.

It is encouraging to hear in the debate and throughout the House the support and the passion of the support for wind energy, but most Members would not therefore suggest, as a logical consequence, that wind farms can be sited absolutely everywhere—not, I suggest, at the side of Westminster Abbey and perhaps not on the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral or even on the humble and rather unremarkable piece of grass outside that is College Green. Why therefore the double standard that allows turbines to be placed right by the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley area of outstanding national beauty? There is a great debate about whether wind turbines are beautiful—that is probably in the eye of beholder—but just as one would never place a large mural replicating Picasso next to Big Ben, it surely cannot be appropriate to site 25 wind turbines each of 475 feet on the outskirts of one of Wales’s and, indeed, Britain’s most beautiful natural areas, as evidenced by the AONB status.

To tackle climate change effectively, the Government need to harness intelligent, renewable forms of energy, and wind farms need to be part of the overall proposals to make such positive changes. Let us be creative and innovative, and look at better places for new developments and not simply site them without reference to their surroundings. The action group STEMM—Stop the Exploitation of Mynydd Mynyllod—rightly notes that the effect of the turbines at Mynydd Mynyllod would extend far beyond local residents, affecting visitor numbers, hotels and bed and breakfasts, and the numbers at local campsites and caravan parks, putting our precious and often precarious rural economy at risk. That is why hundreds of people have spoken out against the proposals and the recently added plans for further turbines in nearby Llandrillo. That is why I am pleased to support the campaign……….To return to my text, the great 19th century Welsh poet Ceiriog, who lived in another beautiful part of my constituency, wrote the famous poem “Aros Mae’r Mynyddoedd Mawr”, often translated as “Still the mighty mountains stand”. Those mountains of the Clwydian range stand and wait for all those who love and appreciate our uniquely beautiful landscape in north Wales. One thing I am pretty certain about, however, is that what they do not stand for is gigantic wind turbines, which, if situated there, would destroy the natural environment and profoundly alter the character and the economy of the area. The proposal needs to go back to the drawing board, and unless it is radically altered and more sensible geographical alternatives are considered, that is where it should stay.’  http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2012-10-24a.255.0&s=section%3Awhall#g274.0

Front Page!

This is just a taster of the brilliant front page piece that the Free Press carried today.  It also continued on to be the main story on page 2.  So, thank you to Chief Reporter Helen Davies for this article, as this sort of coverage helps STEMM make sure that as many residents and business owners as possible in the Upper Dee Valley know what is in store unless we oppose the start of this ‘wind rush’  – the growing dash for wind subsidies by energy companies and local landowners which is destroying our countryside.

Llandrillo Wind Turbines Latest

The bid for two 46m (150 ft) wind turbines at Syrior, Llandrillo, is due to be considered by Denbighshire County Council’s Planning Committee in Ruthin on Wednesday, October 17. However, it seems the Ward Councillor will be asking that the application be deferred before it is discussed. The Committee will then have to vote to decide whether or not to agree to this deferral. A number of local residents still intend to go along to this meeting and we will leave feedback as to what happens.
In the meantime, it is worth having a look at all the documents relating to these wind turbines, which are now available online through Denbighshire County Council. (Please see link below). You can see that the Council received 80 local objections, as well as 9 from further afield, and a magnificent 6 in support! It’ll be interesting to see how democracy deals with that.
The documents also give great detail regarding concerns about erecting wind turbines in that area, a key focus being ‘ ..the harmful landscape impacts are considered to significantly outweigh the benefits of increased renewable energy generation…’. The documents need to be read in full to really appreciate the arguments against this application.
The Chair of STEMM, Andrew Jedwell, said: ‘Denbighshire’s planning officers have recommended that the application is refused. However, for reasons we do not yet fully understand, Cynwyd Councillor Cefyn Williams has been asked by the officers to move a motion to defer consideration of the proposal. It is normal for such motions to be passed without opposition. The reason for deferral may be that a number of the statutory bodies (e.g. CCW) have said that there is insufficient environmental impact assessment. Some of us still intend to attend the meeting as it is just possible that the application might still be considered, and also on the agenda is an item relating to the development of DCC wind energy planning policy: councillors will be asked to approve the continuation of development work on the draft that will be put before them.’
The meeting is at 9.30 am at the Council Offices in Ruthin: they recommend 9.15 arrival. (Next meeting is on Nov 21st) .
This is the link: https://moderngov.denbighshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=183&MId=4558&Ver=4&LLL=0
Just click on Sirior Llandrillo which starts at page 49 and ends at page 77.