'Tall' Brechfa Forest wind turbine plans are approved

Wind turbines (generic) The wind farm of 12 turbines was approved by Carmarthenshire planners

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Plans for some of the tallest wind turbines in Wales have been approved by councillors in Carmarthenshire.

A dozen turbines up to 145m (475ft) high have been proposed by RWE Npower Renewables at Forestry Commission Wales land in the Brechfa Forest.

Ten members of the local authority's planning committee voted in favour while five voted against.

The council's heritage team warned it will have significant impact on seven listed buildings in the area.

In March, the UK government approved a larger scheme of 28 similar-sized turbines in Brechfa Forest West.

Residents, local organisations and business groups raised similar objections to the company's plans for the 12 turbines in Brechfa Forest East.

Objectors said the wind farm development will damage local people's lives and the ecology and tourism of the area.

The report before councillors recommended passing the scheme.

It said: "Insufficient evidence has been submitted or exists to prove that the proposal will directly impact and result in significant adverse harm to the economic well being of the local tourism sector.

'Targets'

"This is not considered a reason that can justify refusal of the proposed development."

The report said the turbines would cause less harm environmentally than others in the planning pipeline while "also contributing a significant amount of renewable energy that would help meet the Welsh government's energy aspirations".

It added: "This assessment has concluded that the proposed development will comply with local and national planning policies in addition to contributing positively to the Welsh and UK government's renewable energy aspirations and targets.

"No significant impacts have been identified that would lead the head of planning to recommend refusing this proposals."

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