Energy park plan for Oswestry could 'scar the landscape'

Controversial plans for a renewable energy park – featuring a 101-metre high wind turbine and 2,500 solar panels – could "scar the local landscape and community for years to come", a businessman has warned.

Energy park plan for Oswestry could 'scar the landscape'

Miles Hunter, owner of the Pen-y-Dyffryn Hotel in Rhydycroesau, near Oswestry, says he and the rest of the community "viciously object" to the proposals for the Cefn y Maes Community Renewable Energy Park, on land near Oswestry's Old Racecourse at Rhydycroesau.

The developers behind the scheme, renewables firm Engena Limited, have submitted plans for one wind turbine, 2,588 solar panels assembled in rows of four panels deep, two containers for energy storage equipment, a substation and ancillary infrastructure.

The energy park, covering 1.7 hectares of farmland, would provide electricity for more than 550 homes.

Mr Hunter said: "There are a number of issues with this application, one of the principle issues being the height of the turbine, it will be a massive blot on the landscape, as it will be visible from Oswestry Racecourse, the Ceiriog Valley, the Berwyns and even from the A5 coming from Shrewsbury.

"This will no doubt have a huge impact on tourism, and you have to remember the tourism industry in this part of Shropshire is fledging, it's still not established in this part of the county, and all of my custom comes from tourists, people coming here for short breaks and holidays.

"Last year we were awarded for having the best countryside views, people come here because of our beautiful, unspoilt countryside and that could be destroyed if these plans go ahead."

Mr Hunter said another issue that faces both tourists and local residents if the plans are approved, is major traffic disruption, because of the heavy goods vehicles travelling to and from the site. He gave a Powys Council estimate of 1,300 HGVs in the first six months.

In a bid to combat community and businesses concerns, Mr Hunter has launched a campaign group against the plans – Community Against Rhydycroesau Turbine and EnergyPark.

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