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Conwy officers advised to object to plans for 200m-high wind turbines

CONWY’S officers have advised the council’s planning committee to object to proposals for nine 200m-high wind turbines.

RWE Renewables UK have submitted a  statutory pre-application consultation to Conwy’s planning department, seeking backing for the huge wind turbines at Alwen Forest Wind Farm, a 738-hectare site located 4km north-west of Cerrigydrudion.

If permission is granted, six of the proposed wind turbines would be located in Conwy county within the coniferous woodland, forming a ridge between Alwen Reservoir and Llyn Brenig.

The other three turbines would be located in an area of Denbighshire protruding into Conwy, lying to the north of the county boundary to the south of the A543 Pentrefoelas/Denbigh Road.

The plans include the construction and operation of a wind farm, grid connection, battery energy storage systems, and infrastructure.

The plans aren’t subject to the usual planning process as they are regarded as a development of national significance.

Consequently, Conwy can only indicate whether it objects or supports the development as part of a pre-application consultation before Welsh Government decides.

Planning officers have advised that the committee object to the proposal on the basis of the impact of three turbines and the impact on the Hiraethog Special Landscape Area, comprising of open moorland to the west of the proposed site.

A council assessment concluded the proposals could have a moderate or significant impact on the character of the eastern part of the special landscape area, affecting the land between Moel Bengam, Llyn Aled, and Mwdwl Eithin.

There are already several existing wind farms in the area, including Llyn Brenig, which dominates views east of the B4501, as well as the twenty-seven 145m-high turbines at Clocaenog Forest.

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Other nearby wind farms include sixteen 100m-high turbines at Brenig and twenty-five 75m-high turbines at Tir Mostyn/Foel Goch.

There is also planning permission for a proposed wind farm at Pant y Maen, to the east of Llyn Bran and to the north-east of the proposed Alwen Forest Wind Farm. This permission relates to seven 125m-high wind turbines.

The nine turbines proposed at Alwen Forest Wind Farm will be debated at the planning committee at Bodlondeb on Wednesday 14 February.

A Conwy County Council spokeswoman explained the decision-making process.

“The applicant is required to carry out statutory pre-application consultation with the council and other parties before they submit their application to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (formerly the planning inspectorate),” she said.

“Once the application has been formally submitted to Welsh Government, there will be a further consultation period, where the council will have another opportunity to make representations.”