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BBC Wales's Matthew Richards reports
"Some local residents are disappointed with the decision"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Wind farm plans scrapped
wind farm
Company withdraws its plans for 26 turbines
Controversial plans for a 30m wind farm development on Denbigh Moors have been scrapped after rare birds were found on the site.

National Wind Power's (NWP) plans to erect 26 turbines at Mynydd Hiraethog near Pentrefoelas were due to be discussed at a public inquiry later this year.

It is a commendable step by the developer to pull out of the scheme given the likely adverse impact on the environment and on birds in particular

Mike Webb, RSPB
But ornithologists who surveyed the site on behalf of NWP found birds which have the highest levels of UK and European protection.

In the light of the discovery the company decided that it had no choice but to withdraw its proposals.

Scrapping the project is a bitter blow to the company which has already invested five years work and hundreds thousands of pounds in the Denbigh Moors scheme.

The plans became the subject of a public inquiry after they were called in by Welsh Assembly following fierce opposition from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Wales (RSPB) and the Countryside Council for Wales.

Adverse effect

The proposals were being opposed because the Mynydd Hiraethog area is a site of special scientific interest.

There were fears that the 82 metre high turbines would have an adverse effect on the tourism industry and would have been clearly visible from the from the Snowdonia National Park.

The decision has been welcomed by the RSPB.

The charities planning officer Mike Webb said: "It is a commendable step by the developer to pull out of the scheme given the likely adverse impact on the environment and on birds in particular.

"We do not want to name the bird because it has been the subject of persecution in the past and we do not want people to know where they are."

Renewable energy

The company had already changed the number and size of the proposed wind turbines in an attempt to overcome planning objections

Despite the down sizing it was still estimated that the scheme could have provided enough energy for 26,000 homes.

Renewable energy on the whole is seen by environmentalists as a step in the right direction to combatting pollution.

Recent plans to construct three offshore wind farms in Wales were welcomed by Friends of the Earth.

They described the government decision to build 18 turbines across the UK as encouraging.

The RSPB have also said that they support renewable energy schemes.

Mr Webb said: "We believe we ought to treat each case on its merit based on the most up to date screening data.

"We are very much in favour of renewable energy but it has to be the right type and the right place."

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