On Wednesday 6th December 2017 residents in Anglesey were shocked to discover that plans for a 220 acre (90ha) solar farm near Llanbadrig had been approved by the Council. This came after the same committee voted unanimously against it just a month before.
The solar farm - which will be Wales’ biggest - was approved by four councillors, with one voting against and the rest abstaining. For many years CPRW and campaign group Anglesey Against Wind Farms have been fighting to protect the island from rampant development and obtrusive wind and solar farms.
Mairede Thomas was Branch Secretary for CPRW Anglesey throughout much of the campaign. For the past seven years she has been campaigning to protect the island she calls home.
“People here were told that the proposed solar farm would power half the homes on Anglesey which is absolutely untrue. Independent research from the National Grid, Ofgem and others has proven it will power far fewer houses than the developers claim.
“If this solar farm goes ahead, it will destroy valuable farmland, ruin tourism and blight the landscape. Of course, we do need cheaper, greener electricity but not at the cost of our beautiful Welsh landscapes. There are other alternatives.”
Together with residents and other pressure groups, CPRW is fighting for the rights of rural people to have their say. But with complicated paperwork and high legal costs the process is not very democratic.
“Anglesey is a very special place. It’s one of only 120 UNESCO Geoparks in the world and it’s full of important archaeological sites as well as some amazing countryside.
“No-one who lives here wanted the solar farm. But the only way for ordinary people to appeal the decision is through a judicial review, which can be costly.”
Across Wales, local campaigners and residents are battling tooth and nail to protect their countryside from destructive developments and obtrusive solar farms. We need your help to ensure that we can protect rural Wales for the next generation and create a sustainable countryside which works for everyone.
What’s happening in your area?
With 13 CPRW branches across Wales, there’s bound to be something exciting in your area to get involved with. Our branches organise local events, campaign against insensitive planning and fundraise for our wider work. Join your closest branch to support your local community and defend your unique landscapes.