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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Small windfarm's growth opposed
Campaigners say the turbines will blight the landscape

A campaign has been launched to oppose plans to extend a windfarm which orginally attracted no objections.

With just three turbines and owned by three farmers, the Moel Maelogan windfarm near Llanrwst in north west Wales has won praise as an example of good, small scale community enterprise.

But now their plans to erect another 11 wind turbines have run into opposition.

A newly-formed group called CLOUT (Conwy Locals Opposing Unnecessary Turbines) says the development would be a blot on the landscape of the Conwy valley.

Spokesman Rhys Harrison said locals did not object to the original project because they thought it would remain small scale, but now it looked like taking on the characteristics of a massive power station.

The tiny amount of energy produced by wind turbines are not worth the desecration of our uplands
Judy Welford, CLOUT

Another member of the group, Judy Welford from Llanrwst, said the expansion of the windfarm would ruin the local landscape.

"The 11 new turbines will be among the largest in Britain and be highly visible from the Snowdonia range and the Denbigh moor," she said.

"It will have a huge impact on the Conwy valley."

Although Ms Welford's main concern is the visible impact, she said some members of the group also believed wind turbines were an out-dated method of supplying renewable energy.


"There are some who think they are inefficient and unreliable and make no in-roads into renewable energy.

"I have to make it clear that we are pro renewable schemes but the tiny amount of energy produced by wind turbines are not worth the desecration of our uplands," she added.

Cwmni Gwynt Teg wind farm was built by a co-operative set up by brothers Robin and Rheinallt William, and their neighbour Geraint Davies.

The company was held up as an example of how the Welsh windfarm industry might develop when it was officially opened by First Minister Rhodri Morgan in February.

It is the first wind farm in Wales to be built and owned by farmers.

Little opposition

Each of the three 1.3 megawatt turbines is capable of producing 1300 kw of electricity per hour - enough electricity for about 2,500 homes.

Unlike many windfarm projects their first application to erect the three turbines above Llanrwst faced little opposition.

The approval of the biggest windfarm in the UK at Cefn Croes near Aberystwyth in mid Wales was met with stiff opposition by local residents.

Two offshore windfarms at Rhyl and Prestatyn have been given the go-ahead off the north Wales coast.

Clout says it will mount a sustained campaign on a range of issues of concern against the project.

However, Rheinallt Williams from Cwmni Gwynt Teg said they needed to expand to make the turbines viable because of the connection fee to the national grid.

"There is nothing wrong with a local development like this - it is for local people and owned by local people.

"And with the new government targets for windfarms, we need them, so why not keep things local."

Mr Williams said the new turbines would be erected out of sight and would not have a bad impact on views from the valley below.

Windfarm faces assembly inquiry
26 Mar 03  |  Wales
Biggest windfarm given go-ahead
23 May 02  |  Wales
Green light for windfarm
26 Dec 02  |  Wales


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