Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Written Evidence

Written Evidence from T J Priestman


  I write in order to register my strongest possible objection to this proposed development off the North Wales coast.

  Whilst I am all in favour of realistic and meaningful efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and thereby hopefully have some effect on global warming, this proposal to site 200+ turbines just off the coast near to the splendid Victorian town of Llandudno is totally ill-conceived. If built, the project would blight the seaward view of a whole stretch of the North Wales coastline whist having, at best, a singularly insignificant effect on the CO2 emissions of the UK. The government's 2010 target for the reduction of CO2 emissions amounts to just four ten thousandths of the world total CO2 emissions. Gwynt y Mor would contibute only a small part of this figure. Even if we were to achieve the total target, we would have only an insignificant effect on CO2 production and would most certainly have no influence whatever on climate warming or the prevention of a rise in sea level. As a business proposal in the private sector, this wind farm suggestion would be dismissed out of hand.

  I believe that the proposers of this scheme, together with the government, are attempting to hoodwink the general public into believing that windfarms are the only way in which CO2 emissions could be affected. This is patently not the case. Such a massive investment for such minimal return would not, in normal circumctances, have any attraction for any developer. It is only because of the massive monetary incentives being offered, that the developer of Gwynt y Mor is proceeding. This whole situation with wind farms is symptomatic of the complete muddle that the goverment is in with regard to the provision of electric power in this country.

  Mr Blair stated at the time of the proposal to build just four, relatively small wind turbines near to his constituency home in County Durham, that "large turbines should not be sited near to housing developments". How many housing developments would be affected by Gwynt y Mor?

  Llandudno, Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay, Penrhyn Bay, etc etc would be blighted by this development which would stretch some 15 miles up the coast. For the developer to claim that 200 turbines, each over 500 feet high and higher than Blackpool Tower, would not have a massive and totally detrimental effect on the seaward view from all these towns is at best laughable and at worst an insult to our intelligence. But of course, Mr Blair does not live in North Wales.

  I have yet to see any proper justification for this proposal and I urge you to scrap it completely before lasting, irrettrievable harm is done to this beautiful coastline in return for what could only amount to a miniscule effect on the CO2 emissions of this country and the climatic problems of the world.

29 December 2005

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