Infrastructure body accepts first Welsh wind farm case

The first wind farm in Wales to go through the fast-track process for major infrastructure projects has been accepted for examination by the government's decision-making body.

RWE npower renewables’ Brechfa Forest West application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) comprises 28 turbines with a capacity of between 56MW and 84MW on 1,041 hectares of Forestry Commission land between Carmarthen and Lampeter in west Wales.  

The company’s application, submitted on 4 November, also covers access tracks, a substation, a meteorological mast, underground cabling and a temporary construction compound. The IPC’s decision to accept it for scrutiny was reached two days inside the 28-day deadline imposed by the Planning Act 2008.

Carmarthenshire County Council is currently considering a separate application from RWE npower renewables for a 12-turbine development nearby at Brechfa Forest East. The sites fall within a strategic search area for wind energy development identified in the Welsh government’s Technical Advice Note 8.  

Meanwhile, a three-week period has opened for submission of petitions against the development consent order for Covanta Energy’s Rookery South energy-from-waste plant in Bedfordshire, approved by the IPC in October.

The order remains subject to a special parliamentary procedure in which individuals or groups directly affected by the scheme can request an opportunity to give evidence to a joint committee of the Commons and Lords, which will then consider whether consent should be confirmed. Petitions must be lodged by 19 December.

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