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Blaengwen Wind Farm
05 May 2007

Force 9 Energy  has announce that its application on behalf of Catamount Cymru Cyf was approved by the planning committee at Carmarthenshire County Council by a resounding 12 votes to 7.

The original application for a 10-turbine wind farm near Alltwalis and Pencader had been with the Council since January 2005. The application was approved by the planning committee in August 2005, a decision which was surprisingly overturned by the now disbanded Departures Committee in November 2005.

Members of this committee felt that a decision should be deferred pending the results of a study by Ove Arup commissioned by the Council to undertake a refinement of the Strategic Search Area G –Brechfa Forest. The results of this study have confirmed the suitability of the Blaengwen site.

Jerry Sturman, Business Development Manager at Force 9 Energy said “We are delighted that the Arup study has confirmed Force 9 Energy’s meticulous site selection and that the application has been approved after a very thorough assessment. The site is in an ideal location and will bring many benefits to the local community”.

In January 2007 the Council issued Supplementary Planning Guidance for Major Wind Farm Development in the Brechfa Forest Area following the publication of the Ove Arup Report. At the same time as preparing to appeal the decision of the Council’s Departures Committee, Force 9 Energy submitted a re-application. The re-application incorporated a Habitat Management Plan containing a series of measures which together would substantially improve the nature conservation value of the application site. Force 9 Energy developed the proposals in close consultation with the landowners, the Council and in discussion with the Countryside Council for Wales.

Force 9 Energy and Catamount Cymru Cyf are keen to work with the communities in which they operate. They will set up a community fund to be operated by the community for its benefit. Discussions on how this scheme will be administered will commence in due course.

At a recently held business forum many local companies registered their interest in contract opportunities and Force 9 Energy will be writing to these companies in the near future to keep them up to date as the project develops. Mr Sturman said “we were pleased at the high level of interest and the wide range of good and services which is available locally.”
Carmarthenshire County Council has granted permission subject to a number of conditions, some of which must be met before, during and after construction to ensure that the impact on local residents, roads and the environment is minimised as much as is practicable.
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