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Wind Farm Development (Wales)

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

The Humble Petition of Robert Andrew Robinson Town Clerk of Welshpool Town Council,

Sheweth that the Communities of Mid Wales (and in particular Welshpool) are deeply concerned about the effect of Wind Farm transpiration in Mid Wales and in particular through Welshpool which is proposed over a sustained period.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House will urge the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to initiate a public inquiry on this matter before any Wind Farm Development is approved or allowed to take place and to ensure that full, proper and open consideration occurs prior to implementation of the project in Mid Wales.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Lembit Öpik, Official Report, 14 July 2009; Vol. 496, c. 264 .]

[P000393]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, received 11 September 2009:

The Government take the consideration of all impacts from wind farm development very seriously.

Where an application for a wind farm has been made under s36 of the Electricity Act 1989, a public inquiry into the application is mandatory if the relevant planning authority (Powys County Council in this case) objects. Even if the relevant planning authority does not object, I have the discretionary power to call for a public inquiry if! consider it necessary in the light of objections received.

Should I call for a public inquiry to be held, I will issue in advance a statement of the matters, which seem to me to be relevant to my consideration of the application. These matters could include transportation impacts in connection with the construction of the wind farm. The views of those objecting would be taken into account, together with all other relevant factors, in identifying these matters.

Even if a public inquiry is not held, I will similarly take objectors’ views into account in reaching my decision on the application.

I am aware that Powys County Council, the Welsh Assembly Government and the developers concerned are considering transport issues raised by wind farm applications in mid-Wales.

Applications for wind farms made under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 will be considered by the relevant local planning authority. The local planning authority would similarly consider transportation issues in their assessment of such applications.

As transport issues, including cumulative impacts, will be assessed as part of the normal planning application process for each wind farm, it would not be appropriate to hold a separate inquiry across a number of applications solely into transportation issues as requested in the petition.