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