Welcome to the website of STEMM (Stop the Exploitation of Mynydd Mynyllod) which we hope will give people detailed information about ScottishPower Renewables’ plans for a large-scale windfarm on the ridge of the mountain, spreading down the slopes to the River Dee. The 25 proposed turbines would be the tallest erected in Britain at 145 metres and we are not even in an area designated by the Welsh Assembly for windfarm development. The image used here may help give some idea of the impact wind turbines have on the countryside. Please keep checking the website as we will update it regularly to ensure that everyone is kept in the picture about the latest developments. We would also welcome any suggestions, advice or hands-on help in opposing this windfarm which would blight this unique landscape.
This image shows Llandrillo church in relation to the huge turbines planned for Mynydd Mynyllod at 145 metre, and the existing smaller turbines at Braich Ddu and Wern Ddu. It certainly makes you think, doesn’t it?
Why was STEMM formed?
It became clear earlier this year that a significant number of people living in the communities that would suffer as a result of the windfarm felt strongly that a stand had to be taken. Many may feel that this is something of a David and Goliath battle as the developers appear to hold all the cards. However, you only have to look at the countryside that we are so fortunate to live in to appreciate why we hope to defend it against what environmental campaigner, Professor David Bellamy, has called ‘the industrialisation of the landscape by these high rise wind machines.’
It is difficult, even with photomontages, to imagine the impact 25 of these turbines would have on the scenery many of us tend to take for granted. They are, after all, approximately five times the height of the Llandrillo church spire. Visitors come to this area in their thousands each year to enjoy these unspoilt views and the peace and quiet that the area around Mynydd Mynyllod currently offers. STEMM feels that this will vanish should this scheme be given the go-ahead.
Why put a windfarm here?
This is something of a mystery as Mynydd Mynyllod actually lies outside the seven sites identified by the Welsh Assembly in 2005 as areas where large-scale windfarms should be encouraged. (Details of the sites can be found on the following link http://wales.gov.uk/topics/planning/policy/tans/tan8/?lang=en ).
Mynydd Mynyllod is certainly large-scale, and so this application is at odds with an aim of TAN8 (a document clunkily-titled Technical Advice Note 8: Renewable Energy), which was to avoid the proliferation of large windfarms in the Welsh countryside. The siting of this development would also be extremely close to a number of communities, including Llandrillo, Cynwyd, Llanderfel, Bethel, Sarnau, Glanrafon and Corwen. Generally, it seems, large-scale windfarms are sited in upland areas with fewer villages in such close proximity.
The turbines would be visible from as far afield as Snowdonia, Moel Famau and the Berwyns and some visitors have already said they feel these structures will have an adverse effect on the area. Many local people have businesses that rely heavily on income from tourists and there is a real danger that they could suffer.
In fact, a recent study indicates that tourism accounts for over 13% of Welsh GDP, which is higher than in England and Scotland (see the Wales Tourism Alliance Policy document 2011/12).