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Bute Energy confirm they will appeal to overturn weather mast plans refusal

The view towards Glaslyn nature reserve (Pic: Sally George)

WINDFARM developers Bute Energy have confirmed they will appeal the decision by Powys councillors to refuse planning permission for a weather mast at site between the Glaslyn Nature Reserve and Llyn Clywedog.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Planning committee on Thursday, March 14 councillors voted against the proposals for the meteorological mast which would be 120 metres high, and there for a three year period.

In doing so they went against the recommednations of planning officers who recommended the application should be approved.

The application had been made by Esgair Galed Energy Park Limited which is the development vehicle for Bute Energy, who specialise in developing wind and solar energy parks.

Information gleaned from the mast could inform the firm whether the condition at the site is conducive for 220 metre high wind turbines.

Resident from Dylife, Staylittle and Llwynygog which are close to the site have started to campaign against the project and 85 objections were lodged against the weather mast plans.

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Bute Energy told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that they are “disappointed” with the decision that councillors made.

A spokesman for Bute Energy said: “This application was for a temporary meteorological mast.

“There are already a number of examples erected across Powys.

“In the report presented to the Planning committee, the planning officer for the application considered that the proposal complied with relevant planning policies.

“While we do appreciate the comments raised by members and objectors, we note that consultees such as CADW, the Ministry of Defence and Powys County Council’s ecologist did not provide any objection to the application subject to certain conditions being met.

“Given these factors, we intend to appeal the decision.”

At the planning meeting, Cllr Gareth Pugh put forward a motion to object against the weather mast on the grounds of visual impact and danger to wildlife.

Cllr Pugh also said that the weather mast would be “insignificant” compared to the wind turbine proposal that’s being mooted for the site.

Planning professional lead officer Peter Morris had stressed that councillors should only consider the application in front of them and not be sidetracked by the wind turbine proposal.

Mr Morris didn’t believe that the committee had “strong solid reasons” to object against the scheme.

However, by a majority of nine to five councillors ther voted to refuse the mast – with one councillor abstaining.

The Esgair Galed Windfarm wind turbine scheme, which was revealed in January would roughly be situated, northwest of Llanidloes, southeast of Machynlleth and south of Llanbrynmair.

Any future wind turbine planning application would be deemed a Development of National Significance (DNS) and would be processed by Welsh Government planning inspectors at Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW).

If built the wind turbines would create 171 MW of electricity which would be enough to power between 113,000 and 179,000 households a year.