‘We have to stop this or An­gle­sey will just look like a gi­ant pin cush­ion’

Bangor Mail - - News - Gareth Wyn Wil­liams

FEARS have been raised that wind and so­lar farms could “sprout up like mush­rooms” on An­gle­sey if new plan­ning mea­sures are adopted.

The Welsh Govern­ment is con­sult­ing on its draft Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Frame­work which will set the na­tional pri­or­i­ties, through the plan­ning sys­tem, from 2020 to 2040.

If adopted the pro­posed zones will be iden­ti­fied in over a dozen ar­eas – in­clud­ing a 65 square mile area of cen­tral An­gle­sey for “large scale wind and so­lar en­ergy gen­er­a­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Welsh Govern­ment the strat­egy has been de­signed to avoid such de­vel­op­ments within Na­tional Parks and Ar­eas of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty – of which large parts of the is­land’s coast have been des­ig­nated.

But fears have been raised by a cam­paign group that it would re­sult in wind tur­bines up to 250 me­tres high be­ing pre­sumed to have plan­ning per­mis­sion.

The is­land’s AM was clear that any ap­pli­ca­tions would still re­quire plan­ning per­mis­sion.

“I’m a re­new­ables en­thu­si­ast but I find it re­mark­able that whilst iden­ti­fy­ing on­shore wind op­por­tu­ni­ties there’s no men­tion of our off­shore ca­pac­ity, for which there is much more pub­lic sup­port – both for off­shore wind, and in terms of ma­rine/ tidal en­ergy gen­er­a­tion,” added Rhun ap Ior­w­erth.

“I will be pur­su­ing the mat­ter and mak­ing con­cerns known.”

A spokesman for An­gle­sey Coun­cil said that the au­thor­ity would be re­spond­ing to the con­sul­ta­tion in due course, with re­sponses be­ing sought un­til Novem­ber 1.

Pam Lee, spokesper­son for the An­gle­sey branch of the Cam­paign for the Pro­tec­tion of Ru­ral Wales, said: “The Govern­ment likes to give the im­pres­sion that there will be sen­si­tive plan­ning guide­lines, but as we’ve seen in Powys where min­is­ters over­ruled both the lo­cal au­thor­ity and the Plan­ning In­spec­torate, once things like this get ap­proved plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions just get rub­ber stamped.

“We have to stop this now or in 10 years’ time An­gle­sey will just look like a gi­ant pin cush­ion!”

In re­sponse, a Welsh Govern­ment spokesper­son said: “We have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­spond to the mate emer­gency and plan for na­tional en­ergy needs.

“The frame­work des­ig­nates pri­or­ity ar­eas where large-scale wind and so­lar de­vel­op­ment will be ac­cept­able in prin­ci­ple.

“Any schemes must still go through the nor­mal plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion process.” cliour

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