Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Written Evidence

Written Evidence from the Denbighshire Branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales

  The Denbighshire Branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales concerns itself with the "protection and enhancement of the landscape and environment" of the County (1); we are consulted by local authorities on strategic planning matters, and comment on a wide range of planning applications at a local level.

  Like most other environmental groups, we are opposed to the current pattern and extent of the deployment of wind turbines in the uplands of Wales, although CPRW's policy does not oppose land based installations if a site can be found that does not damage landscapes, and is broadly supportive of truly offshore installations away from sensitive coasts (2).

  TAN 8 Planning for Renewable Energy (3) designates Clocaenog Forest in Denbighshire and Conwy as Strategic Area A for the installation of wind turbines to a target capacity of 140MW. The Forestry Authority land and other areas in Clocaenog Forest are extensively used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders; with the central zone around Llyn Brenig actively promoted as a recreational centre for these activities and for fishing and sailing. It is a leisure resource that we and the two local authorities are very proud of. It is a centre not only for local people, but also for visitors from Liverpool, Birkenhead, Chester and beyond.

  At the time of writing, the consultants Ove Arup are redefining the boundaries of this Area, with a view to concentrating the turbines into as small an area as possible with the least possible environmental damage. When this is complete, Supplementary Planning Guidance produced jointly by the two authorities will be republished. The area chosen is most likely to be the central portion, which is far from most houses but, because of its remoteness, is the area most used for recreation.

  Meanwhile, npower renewables have announced their 750MW Gwynt y Mor Offshore Wind Farm (4), to be commenced in 2008, with the project operational in 2010-11. This, together with the consented Rhyl Flats and Scarweather Sands sites (200MW together), brings the total potential installed capacity (after North Hoyle) off the shores of Wales to 950MW.

  The table attached [not printed] shows how the TAN 8 target of 2.6TWh additional renewable generation (5) will be achieved, and indeed exceeded, by the implementation of the three further offshore schemes referred to. It is the view of CPRW, therefore, that no further onshore wind turbines are required for Wales to meet its targets, and, from our local point of view, it is unnecessary to destroy the amenity value of the Clocaenog area.

  We ask the Committee to take these figures into consideration when addressing item 3d.

  We regret that we are not in a position to give oral evidence.

REFERENCES AND NOTES (1)  CPRW Constitution 25 June 2005.

(2)  CPRW Onshore and Offshore Policies 2005.

(3)  Technical Advice Note 8: Planning for Renewable Energy—WAG July 2005.

(4)  Project Update and Exhibition Information—npower renewables 2005.

(5)  TAN 8 Annex A para 6.

1 December 2005

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