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Wind farms in Wales face public inquiry

A joint public inquiry will be held into two applications for Section 36 development consent for onshore wind farms in Powys, mid-Wales.

The projects involved are Vattenfall's  59.5MW Llanbadarn Fynydd development and the Carnedd Wen wind farm, slated to be 130-250 MW, planned RWE npower renewables. "It makes sense that these applications should be considered jointly, in order to ensure strategic consideration of the benefits and impacts," said UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry.

Under the Section 36 process, if a relevant planning authority objects to an application, the Government is obliged to call a public inquiry. Powys County Council has objected to both onshore projects. “The County Council in Powys has maintained its objection to these two proposals for wind farms in mid-Wales," explained Hendry. "In these circumstances the legislation provides for a public inquiry at which all the evidence will be independently examined before ministers make a final decision.”

Although the details are still to be confirmed, it is expected the pre-inquiry meeting will take place in Spring 2013, with the full inquiry to commence later next year.

There are a further four section 36 applications for onshore wind farms on which Powys County Council is due to respond to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) by the end of September 2012. The Secretary of State will give consideration to the arrangements for any additional public inquiries, including whether to conjoin them with the Llanbadarn Fynydd and Carnedd Wen inquiry, after Powys County Council have responded to DECC on the remaining applications 

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