Expert backing windfarm plan

A windfarm planned for the heart of the countryside will not be a blot on the landscape, an expert has told a public inquiry.

Expert backing windfarm plan

Colin Goodrum, a landscape architect with 28 years experience, said the proposed windfarm at Llaithddu, near Newtown, is a "very good scheme" according to studies he has carried out.

He told the inquiry at the Royal Oak in Welshpool yesterday that the project was in an area highlighted as suitable for large windfarms by the Welsh Assembly's TAN8 renewable energy policy.

The public inquiry, which will run until May next year, is discussing proposed windfarms in Llanbadarn Fynydd, near Llandrindod Wells; Llaithddu, near Newtown; Llandinam, near Llanidloes; Llanbrynmair, near Machynlleth; Carnedd Wen, near Machynlleth and a 132kV overhead power line from a Llandinam windfarm to the Welshpool substation.

The plans are being fought by The Alliance group, made up of 21 organisations, together with Powys County Council.

At yesterday's hearing, which discussed the possible visual impact caused by the 29-turbine proposed wind farm in Llaithddu, Mr Goodrum said he had no problems with the potential impact.

He said: "In my overview, I conclude that the proposed wind farm lies in a TAN8 designated area suitable for large-scale wind farm development.

"The scheme brought forward is identified as suitable for development and has been designed sensitively and for environmental reasons."

Mr Goodrum added: "My opinion is that it is a very good scheme and acceptable."

In August, the inquiry, which has been attended by dozens of campaigners, heard an extra 81,000 vehicles will travel on the roads of Shropshire and the Mid Wales border during the building of the Llandinam windfarm, with more than 250 vehicles a day during the height of its construction.

It will also lead to 272 abnormal loads travelling to the site over the two years of building.

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