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Wind farm developer disappointed at inquiry process

Oswestry | News | Published:

A developer at the centre of a long-running public inquiry into plans to build wind farms and an overhead power line in Mid Wales has branded the process "disappointing".

RWE Innology, which hopes to build a wind farm at Carnedd Wen, near Llanidloes, said the year-long public inquiry held in Welshpool has been "long-running" and costly to taxpayers.

The company said its proposed 50-turbine development would create £1 million investment in Mid Wales should the plans get the go-ahead and called on all parties to "accept" whatever outcome planning inspector Andrew Poulter recommends to the secretary of state.

The 12-month inquiry ended on Friday and Mr Poulter will now consider the evidence before delivering his verdict later this year.

The inquiry is into proposed wind farms at Llanbadarn Fynydd, near Llandrindod Wells; Llaithddu, near Newtown; Llandinam, near Llanidloes; Llanbrynmair, near Machynlleth; Carnedd Wen, near Machynlleth; with a 132kV overhead electric line connection from a Llandinam wind farm to the Welshpool substation.

The outcome of the inquiry will be key to whether a controversial 33-mile power line needs to be built to take the energy generated at the windfarms to a substation at Lower Frankton near Oswestry.

The plans are being fought by The Alliance campaign group and Powys County Council.

A statement released by RWE today said: "RWE is clearly disappointed that an expensive and long-running public inquiry has been necessary to deal with the five large wind farms proposed in Mid Wales.

"This has cost both the Powys taxpayers and our business and has caused considerable delay to a project which provides significant local environmental and community benefits.

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"Throughout we have remained firm in our belief that our Carnedd Wen wind farm and habitat restoration project which entered the planning process with very little local opposition remains by far one of the best sites in Powys for generating renewable energy in line with Welsh Government targets and EU policy. We believe this has been made clear by our team throughout the inquiry.

"We would also praise The Alliance whose approach to the inquiry has been professional and courteous throughout. We now hope for a speedy and positive decision by the secretary of state that will allow us to begin to deliver the considerable local environmental, community and business benefits from this wind farm."

The statement added: "Whatever the outcome of the conjoined public inquiry, we hope that Powys politicians, objectors and Natural Resources Wales will accept and respect that decision. In the event that we are successful and are granted consent, we hope everyone will work together with us to maximise the local economic and environmental benefits."

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