Clwyd South MP, Susan Elan Jones, has just sent through this comment in support of STEMM’s continuing fight to prevent two 150ft (46m) turbines being erected at Syrior, Llandrillo.
“I totally disagree with Denbighshire County Council’s planning committee’s decision on this issue. Local concerns about unspoilt local landscape are quite correct. I really cannot believe what possessed the planning committee to go against the Council’s own planning officers advice in the way they did. I am very concerned at what this may mean for the future.”
Brilliant coverage for our campaign from both the Free Press and the Daily Post. This article is from today’s edition of the DP.
The decision by Denbighshire’s Planning committee to vote 14-12 in favour of Syrior’s scheme for two 150ft (46m) wind turbines near Llandrillo obviously did not go as STEMM had hoped, but we haven’t finished yet!
With over 100 objections to this plan from local residents we feel it is worth continuing the fight to protect not only this unspoilt area, which is enjoyed by so many, but also the livelihoods of all those involved in tourism in the upper Dee Valley. We cannot ignore what has happened in many other areas around the country, such as on Anglesey, in Cornwall and in Scotland, where once one wind turbine was erected and a precedent set, then other landowners came forward with applications and soon increasing numbers of turbines punctured the landscape.
Chair of STEMM, Andrew Jedwell, said: ‘We are very disappointed that the councillors chose by such a narrow margin to ignore the carefully reasoned recommendation from their officers, and other organisations, that the application should be rejected. We share their concern that Denbighshire has no coherent strategy to avoid these wind factories becoming an industrialisation of our beautiful landscape.
‘We were doubly disappointed by the lengthy intervention from councillor Cefyn Williams in which he asserted that these wind developments could stem rural decline and in which he also downplayed the importance of the visitor economy. We strongly disagree with both of these and remain convinced that the Syrior application is of a scale that goes way beyond what might legitimately be seen as farm diversification.
‘We will be talking to our advisers to see what our next steps will be: we do not regard this matter as settled.’
We will obviously keep all of STEMM’s supporters updated.
A letter has gone out this weekend from STEMM to all the councillors who sit on Denbighshire’s Planning committee. The letter sets out why STEMM and its supporters are so strongly opposed to the Syrior application for two 150ft (46m) wind turbines, just outside Llandrillo.
The decision for this application will be made at Wednesday’s Planning meeting in the Ruthin Council Offices, starting at 9.30 a.m.
There are a number of key points made in the letter including: ‘The most important issue is that of visual impact: despite revisions, the application is still misleading. These turbines are 150ft high to blade tip, which makes them 40ft higher than the Llandrillo church spire and, if you are not familiar with Llandrillo, they are only 30ft lower than Ruthin church spire. The true visual impact would be much more significant than the application shows.’
Further on the letter states: ‘We know that successful planning applications to Denbighshire have used the argument that the landscape was already degraded by existing turbines (e.g. Gwyddelwern degraded by Wern Ddu) and so visual impact should be disregarded. Where will this stop? There must be a point at which Denbighshire councillors say that there are upland landscapes which, even if they have missed statutory designation, are worth protecting.’
The closing paragraph is: ‘Please decide that the time has come to protect our precious landscape and, at the same time, the visitor economy of which it is such a vital component. Stop these one-off decisions which are leading to the creeping industrialisation of our countryside and to a skyline increasingly punctured by wind factories. Keep the upper Dee Valley as a special landscape.’
If you are unable to attend the Planning meeting (lifts are available) then there will be a report on this website about the debate and the decision.
This coming Wednesday (February 20) Denbighshire’s Planning committee will decide whether or not the application for two 150ft (46m) will be given the go ahead.
The report for this meeting is now available online and Council Officers have recommended councillors refuse the scheme for a number of reasons, including the ‘adverse impact’ they would have on the ‘setting of protected landscape areas’ and that they would ‘contribute to the perceived incremental spread of wind development…’. Over 110 people have shown their opposition to the scheme, with only a small number in support. The council officers also dispute that this can be considered as ‘farm diversification’ as Syrior is an upland livestock farm and therefore not energy intensive, while the turbines would generate approximately 114 times more electricity each year than an average residential property would use per annum. Officers suggest the scheme should instead be viewed as a ‘commercial venture’.
Opponents to the scheme will be attending the Council meeting which starts at 9.30 a.m. in the Ruthin Council Offices. If anyone would like a lift, then please contact STEMM through this website or our Facebook page.