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Minister: it's over to councils on windfarms.

LOCAL councils must decide if windfarms can be built in North Wales, Carwyn Jones insisted yesterday.

The Assembly environment minister's comments came during a debate on the sustainable development annual report. He said Assembly planning guidance was only a "steer" for councils when they come to decide whether to approve a windfarm planning application.

His comments were made in response to Neath AM Gwenda Thomas' concerns 38% of the total area recommended for providing windfarms under National Assembly plans to increase sustainable energy sources, falls within her area.

She said the proliferation of windfarms could damage the local economy and affect levels of tourism in her constituency.

Mr Jones said: "The council's shouldn't take these decisions in a vacuum. Ultimately, it is the local authorities that must take the decision, but they must consider the impact of what they decide because there is an appeal process."

Mr Jones also said it was inappropriate for him to discuss "pest control" in rural areas since it was not adevolved issue. The response followed a question from Lisa Francis, the Conservative mid and west Wales AM, who said the current law was inadequate for farmers looking to protect their flocks.

Brynle Williams, Conservative North Wales AM, added: "We are not asking for foxhunting, but asking for a simple solution of controlling predators and I urge you to consider this."

Mr Jones responded by saying: "The law has been passed and it remains the law. It is a law we cannot change
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 22, 2005
Words:248
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