8,000 sign Anglesey petition against wind turbines

Wind turbine Proposals for wind turbine developments on Anglesey has been a 'hotly debated topic,' according to the island's planning commissioner

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Opponents of wind turbine development on Anglesey have drawn up a petition they say has been signed by more than a tenth of the island's population.

Campaign group Anglesey Against Wind Turbines said nearly 8,000 people support their call for limits on commercial wind turbines.

Anglesey council is consulting on a second draft of planning guidance for wind energy applications.

The petition was handed in on Wednesday afternoon.

Council chief executive Richard Parry Jones agreed to receive the petition at the council's Llangefni offices.

Anglesey Against Wind Turbines (AAWT) said the take up of its petition would have been greater if the summer weather had not been so poor.

Start Quote

Wind energy has recently become a hotly debated topic on Anglesey with several communities opposed to proposed turbine developments.”

End Quote Anglesey council

It estimates more than 11% of the island's 68,900 population has put their name to the petition which calls for a ban on commercial wind turbines in any Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a separation distance of at least 1.5km (0.9 miles) from housing.

Group member Paul Madden said visitors to the island had also signed the petition but the strength of feeling about the wind turbines issue was such that group could "easily have doubled" the number of signatures.

He said: "There is a feeling that the council wants to loosen the guidance on where turbines can be sited.

"People are at a loss to understand why the council appears to want to loosen the guidelines when they have a perfectly good Local Development Plan that would allow them to deal with it."

Mr Madden said people were concerned at proposals for some wind turbines measuring 100m tall.

Anglesey council began the eight-week consultation, its second on the issue, on 16 August.

Its first consultation in December 2011 led to 900 submissions and a decision to undertake a second consultation based on "significant changes".

'Delicate balance'

At that time the local authority said: "Wind energy has recently become a hotly debated topic on Anglesey with several communities opposed to proposed turbine developments."

The council says over the last two years it has received 48 applications, mostly for single turbines. Of these seven were granted conditionally and 26 have not yet been decided.

Anglesey council is currently run by commissioners appointed by the Welsh government.

When the first consultation began, the commissioner with responsibility for planning and environment, Alex Aldridge, said: "Wind energy and the development of turbines on the island has been a hotly debated topic of late.

"I'm very much aware of the delicate balance that faces this authority, and local residents, with regard to the contesting views on producing clean renewable energy and the visual impact on an island which rightly boasts many, many spectacular areas of natural beauty."

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