The rejection of five wind farm applications in Powys has shown the “sheer narrow-mindedness” of the Conservatives when it comes to renewable energy, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have said.
The Conservative UK Government has rejected a series of planning applications for onshore wind farms across Mid Wales in spite of an independent planning inspector’s recommendations in favour of three of them. A sixth proposal, at Llandinam, has been approved by the Secretary of State but she has rejected plans for its link to the grid meaning it can only go ahead if an acceptable alternative route can be found.
Jane Dodds, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Candidate for Montgomeryshire, said:
“I’m shocked at this grim decision from the UK Government to rule against five of the applications for wind farms in the area. The independent Inspector’s analysis of the planning applications and available evidence recommended that three of the applications went ahead and yet this seems to have been ignored.
“There is a growing need for the UK to be investing in renewables in order to effectively tackle the very real threats of climate change and yet, from the outset, this Tory Government has seemed determined to denounce green initiatives at every opportunity.
“These developments had the potential to benefit rural communities in the area, bringing jobs, economic development and much needed investment and it is disappointing to see that opportunity go to waste.”
William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for the Environment & Rural Affairs said:
“The decisions regarding these developments have been a long time coming and were never going to be clear cut. The mixed recommendations made by the Inspector reflect the realities on the ground; not all wind farms are appropriate for all areas. But the Secretary of State’s decision to depart so radically from the independent Inspector's recommendations belies the sheer narrow-mindedness of the UK Conservative Government when it comes to renewable energy.
“It also begs the question as to how we are to achieve the energy security that families and businesses will need in the time to come. Any headlong rush to new nuclear and fracking would be deeply alarming – for our generation and those to follow. ”