North West Wales

Support wind turbines, AM Elis-Thomas tells incomers

Wind turbines
Image caption Opinion is divided on wind turbine proposals across Wales

People moving into Wales should be more tolerant of the wishes of local people who support wind turbines, an AM says.

Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the chair of the assembly's environment committee, was commenting on bitter rows about wind energy plans on the Llyn peninsula.

As part of a BBC Wales Taro 9 investigation he says some incomers should "learn to work with" locals.

But opponents of turbines say they would be as destructive as the flooding of valleys to create reservoirs.

The programme being shown on S4C examines wind turbine developments and proposals on the Llyn Peninsula.

Lord Elis-Thomas, who represents Dwyfor Meirionnydd, believes more green energy should be produced, and people moving to Wales should not object so strongly.

He told the programme: "I've noticed that there are a number of people who have moved into Wales who vocally oppose stopping Wales developing natural resources and I think this is something very serious.

"Because if people move to an area to live, they must learn to work with the people in that area and the economy of this area is vitally important to us all."

Divided communities

While some claim wind turbines benefit local communities, the programme also hears from opponents like Sian Parri of the Friends of Llyn Society.

She likens wind turbines to the flooding of the Tryweryn valley in the 1960s to provide water to Liverpool.

"They say that this is our Tryweryn, and there is no sadder sight in my mind in the history of Wales than that small group of people running down that hill after Celyn Valley had been drowned," she said.

"And it will be very sad to come to the Llyn in a few years time with the place destroyed and the views ruined."

Others say the divisive issue has far-reaching consequences for a usually tight-knit community.

"It's already split long-standing friendships and family ties," said Steve Dorling from Llanaelhaearn.

"I can't imagine this proposal is any different to others on the peninsula.

"It's very sad when kids that went to school together and are now in their forties and fifties no longer speak and that's the case."

Taro 9 can be seen on S4C on Tuesday 22 October 2013 at 21:30 BST

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