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Public inquiry to be held into Mid-Wales wind farms

A joint public inquiry will be held into two applications for onshore windfarms in Powys, mid-Wales.

These refer to applications made by Vattenfall for the Llanbadarn Fynydd scheme (59.5 MW), and RWE npower renewables for the Carnedd Wen scheme (130-250 MW), for development consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.

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 the Llanbadarn Fynydd scheme and the Carnedd Wen scheme, triggering a public inquiry.

The government has decided that evidence on the benefits and impacts of these proposals is best considered at a single inquiry for both schemes.

Energy minister Charles Hendry said: “The County Council in Powys has maintained its objection to these two proposals for wind farms in mid-Wales.

“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. It makes sense that these applications should be considered jointly, in order to ensure strategic consideration of the benefits and impacts.”

Although the details are still to be confirmed, it is expected that 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 windfarms on which Powys County Council is due to respond to the Department of Energy and Climate Change 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 the DECC on the remaining applications.