Brechfa Forest Wind Farm approved: development by RWE Npower Renewables in Carmarthenshire
ANTI-wind farm campaigners have reacted with dismay that plans for 28 wind turbines in Carmarthenshire have been granted.
The Secretary of State for Climate Change, Gregory Barker MP, gave his consent to the application this afternoon.
Campaigners claim the decision is flawed and said it will damage the countryside.
The decision means energy company RWE Npower Renewables can now build the wind farm, called Brechfa Forest West.
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How the 56 to 84 megawatt development will be connected to the National Grid has yet to be sorted out.
The site is on Forestry Commission land behind an existing 10-turbine wind farm at Alltwalis, to the north east of Carmarthen.
A statement issued today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “The Secretary of State has granted development consent for this application.”
It added: “While development of the Brechfa Forest West wind farm would bring adverse visual and landscape impacts, these are not so significant as to outweigh the desirability and pressing need for this type of infrastructure.”
Anti-wind farm campaigner Caroline Evans, coordinator of Brechfa Forest Energy Action Group, said: “This is a very flawed judgement by the Secretary of State.
“He has chosen to ignore sound evidence of the damage this giant development will inflict on the mountain and the community.
“This is a major disappointment for the many who worked tirelessly, spending time and money they could ill afford to fight to protect the country they love.”
RWE Npower Renewables’ project developer, Bethan Edwards said: “The construction of the Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm will provide a valuable boost to the local economy, injecting up to £19 million into the economies of South and West Wales, and supporting up to 224 jobs in the region during each year of construction alone.
“These important economic benefits continue through to the operation of the wind farm.
“Local community benefits will amount to around £560,000 per year over the life of the wind farm, depending upon the final installed capacity.”
She said that next year, Western Power Distribution will be required to submit a separate application to the Planning Inspectorate for a line, on wooden poles, to connect to the grid.
She added: “In the meantime, we look forward to spending time with communities and businesses in and around the wind farm, to realise the benefits for them of constructing and operating Brechfa Forest West.”