Campaign group launches fundraising effort to fight wind farms and pylons plans
A campaign group that opposes plans to build networks of wind farms and pylons across rural Wales has begun fundraising for what it sees as a long battle ahead.
Scores of people filled the Alexandra Hall in Llangammarch Wells in Powys for the launch of RE-think’s fundraising campaign.
In total, more than £2,600 was raised to support the group’s fight against what it calls industrial scale wind farms and associated pylons being proposed across Mid Wales, leading the organisers to declare it a “resounding success.”
RE-think welcomed Jonty Colchester, who chairs CPRW, the countryside charity, as guest speaker. Also present were Sarah Jones, the Mayor of Llanwrtyd Wells and Kay Coldrick, chair of Llangammarch Community Council.
Mr Colchester spoke of the importance of the RE-think campaign, and pledged CPRW’s ongoing support. He described Bute Energy, which is planning up to 16 wind farms plus overhead power lines in Mid Wales, as a “spec developer” which had never built a wind farm but was looking to “play the subsidy system in order to make a quick buck”.
He reminded guests of the centuries of co-operative effort that had gone into creating Mid-Wales’ treasured landscapes, while also referring to the fragility of the social and economic systems that sustain it.
Both CPRW and RE-think are promoting a petition calling for a temporary moratorium on large-scale onshore wind developments, until the Welsh Government updates its energy policies to reflect the advances of other technologies and includes the full potential of offshore wind.
RE-think chair Jenny Chryss updated guests on the campaign’s progress, and what was likely to follow over the next few months, warning that there must be no let-up in the fight. She urged people to learn as much as possible about the proposals now, so that they could make an informed response to any future planning applications.
Central to the evening was an auction with items donated by local businesses and individuals. These included Wales v France Six Nations rugby tickets, vouchers for meals and spa treatments at a local hotel, a Welsh Overland Safari, and a three-night break at a holiday cottage in Pembrokeshire.
One of the main attractions at the event was the “Monty Pylon Jazz Band,” along with their singer, Becca “Turbine in a Hurricane” O’Hara.
Ms Chryss said: “I can’t thank people enough for the effort they have made. The volunteers who organised, catered, sung, played, washed up, sold tickets and beer, ran the auction and the raffle or simply came along have my heart-felt thanks. So too do all the individuals and businesses who contributed to making the evening such a success.
“It has been so humbling to see how much support there is for our campaign. Many people expect their lives and livelihoods to be ruined if the proposals of Bute Energy to build massive wind farms plus a power line through the area go ahead. And while others might not be directly affected, they, like me, fear the ruination of the ecology, environment and much-loved landscape for miles around.”
The online petition can be found on the CPRW website.
Bute Energy maintains that its intention is to help the Welsh Government meet its carbon reduction commitments, which can only be done if onshore wind is included in an energy strategy.
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