MP Restates Her Support for STEMM

Clwyd South MP, Susan Elan Jones, has this week restated her support for STEMM’s campaign to stop further encroachment of wind turbines into the upper Dee Valley.

“I believe that the placement of wind turbines can have serious consequences for rural landscapes like ours. You will know also that I have been a big supporter of groups like STEMM. My personal view on wind farms has always been that genuine local opinion and constituents’ views should be heard when it comes to far-reaching planning decisions. We cannot have wind farms placed everywhere and anywhere and I can fully understand the concerns of communities like yours which are greatly affected by these sorts of developments,” she said.


Llandderfel Faces New 115m Turbines Threat.

A scheme for two industrial wind turbines on the outskirts of Llandderfel, between Corwen and Bala, has been submitted to Gwynedd Council.  The proposal is to erect two 377 ft (115m) high turbines at Bodelith Isaf – 78ft (24m) taller than those at Braich Ddu. The deadline for objections is Thursday, May 1.
This bid, by renewables energy development company, Pennant Walters, is the latest of a series of efforts by landowners and developers to introduce these out-of-scale industrial structures into the unspoilt upper Dee Valley.
As many of you will already know, a Judicial Review challenge has been launched to overturn Denbighshire Planning Committee’s decision to give the go ahead to two 150ft (46m) turbines at Syrior, Llandrillo. In addition, of course, there is Scottish Power Renewables’ plan for 25, 475ft (145m) wind turbines along the ridge and slopes of Mynydd Mynyllod, in the Cynwyd, Llandrillo and Llandderfel areas.
So, to date, this small and beautiful area is currently earmarked for a potential 29 wind turbines, ranging in height from 150ft to 475ft. They will bring with them miles of access roads, hard standing, pylons and a substation. This scenery, so popular with local residents and visitors alike, could be lost forever if all these schemes are voted through.
There are, of course, three turbines already at Braich Ddu which, at 298ft (91m), are significantly smaller than those proposed at Bodelith.  But, if all the wind farm schemes in this area get the green light we will be faced with a turbine dominated landscape.  This would stretch from Wern Ddu (4 x 90m), through the Gwyddelwern turbines (3 x 46m), Braich Ddu (3 x 91m), those planned for Mynydd Mynyllod (25 x 145m) and Llandrillo (2 x 46m), and running to this new scheme at Llandderfel (2 x 115m).  In all, a total of 39 wind turbines of a range of heights – a visual nightmare.  Bear in mind, too, that this is all not only on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, but also the newly extended Clwydian Range AONB, which now borders Corwen and Cynwyd, as well as the SSSI Berwyns.
Finding out more and objecting:
You can find more details about the proposed turbines at Bodelith on Gwynedd Council’s website (see link below) and, if you wish to object, you can do so through that link or, by writing to: Planning Department, Gwynedd County Council, Dwyfor Area Office, Ffordd y Cob, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, LL53 5AA.
There is a lot of information contained in the various documents within that link.  The latest one, however, is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) provided by the developer, which has to look at a range of aspects, which can also be used as grounds for objection.  These include:
  • the cumulative visual impact of the proposed 115 m turbines in relation to existing turbines and all those in various stages of the planning process in the area;
  • impact on local residents of noise, possible shadow flicker, potential loss of value of property (particularly relevant in light of the recent London School of Economics report which shows a significant drop in house prices for homes close to turbines ) etc;
  • issues concerning access to the site and transportation of all the components;
  • impact on birdlife and bats;
  • possible impact on the many tourist based businesses in the area (the surveys referred to in the EIA date back to 2005/2006 and studies have been courtesy of the British Wind Energy Association, hardly a disinterested organisation);
  • effect on the archaeology/historic environment etc
An objection, either by email or letter, can be as short or long as you wish it to be, but it must be relevant to the planning process.  Those issues listed above are amongst the most commonly put forward in opposing wind farm schemes.  Please remember to give your full name, address and contact details.
It is also worthwhile, particularly if you live in Gwynedd, to contact your local county and/or community councillors to let them know how you feel about this proposal.
Any new information will also be posted on STEMM’s Facebook page
There is only a short time in which to send off objections as they have to be with Gwynedd Council by Thursday, May 1.

Llys Dymper Turbines REJECTED!

Windpower Wales’ plans for 10 turbines of 110m (360ft) at its Llys Dymper wind farm in the Conwy Valley were given the thumbs down today by members of Conwy Council’s Planning Committee.

Planners at Conwy County Borough Council had said that the development, near Llanrwst, ‘was not considered to be acceptable in this location and would be contrary to national planning policy.’  Llys Dymper is around 5km OUTSIDE of a Strategic Search Area as identified in Welsh Government policy note TAN8 for large-scale onshore wind development. The planner’s report said the proposal is ‘contrary’ to the TAN8 objectives of concentrating developments within the SSAs and preventing turbines being ‘spread across the whole of a county.’  This is an interesting decision, too, for residents fighting Scottish Power Renewables’ scheme for 25, 145 (475ft) turbines on Mynydd Mynyllod, in the upper Dee Valley, which is also outside of the sites allocated for major wind farms.

Still on the subject of fighting the spread of wind turbines, Russell George, Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire, would like to hear your opinion on wind energy in your local area.  He has put together a short survey (please click on the link) which you are invited to complete.