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Subsidy cuts for on-shore wind farms is welcomed; CPRW.

Byline: Peter Ogden

WITH a long-awaited sense of relief, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) enthusiastically welcomed the Government's announcement that it will cut subsidies for on-shore wind farms which haven't secured all their operational consents before April 2016. Thursday's announcement is sweet music to CPRW's ears.

And it will be a relief to the huge number of individuals in small organisations and groups the length and breadth of Wales, who have invested countless thousands of hours fighting to persuade decision-makers of the folly of the Welsh Government's agenda to promote on-shore wind here in Wales.

It also demonstrates that their massive efforts have at long last taken the wind out of the industry's sails and their battles to protect the Welsh landscapes against the scourge of windfarms have not been in vain.

Given that the Government's announcement also clearly indicates that local people in England will have the final say in deciding the fate of any future windfarms in their area, CPRW now calls on the Welsh Government to do the same and revisit the way in which the acceptability of any future schemes will be decided here in Wales.

People in Wales are now in a bizarre situation compared to their counterparts across the border, in that the Welsh Government, rather than giving local people more of a role in deciding the acceptability of wind farms, are doing exactly the opposite.

Having recently said it wants to decide the fate of most wind farms over 25 MW because they are "nationally important", where does that leave local people in deciding the fate of these developments? The meaning of 'localism' clearly seems to have been lost in translation and turned on its head here in Wales, with Cardiff Bay determined to hold on to the decision-making. This makes the announcement to snuff out wind farm subsidies in Wales even more important. CPRW will therefore continue to remain vigilant and challenge all those who want to blight the Welsh landscapes with their brash and insensitive money-making white steel towers and flailing blades.

Peter Ogden, is director of the CPRW. The CPRW has been campaigning against developments including The Mid Wales Connection, connecting proposed wind farms in Powys to the national electricity network in Shropshire.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 23, 2015
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