A west Wales planning authority has rejected plans by the local electricity utility for a 20.5 MW wind farm. SWALEC's application to build 41 wind turbines at Mynydd Cilciffeth and Mynydd Trenewydd in Pembrokeshire was resoundingly defeated by the planning committee of Preseli District Council. Apart from one abstention, the committee unanimously endorsed the views of Director of Planning Roger Anderson who had recommended refusal because of the scheme's visual intrusion and its impact on the nearby Pembrokeshire National Park and Heritage Coast. The effect on tourism was another important concern. "We feel that because of the proposal's impact on the landscape, it would also have a detrimental effect on tourism which is the major money spinner around here," says Cathy Milner of Preseli District Council. SWALEC is clearly angered by what it sees as the subjectivity of Anderson's advice. It believes he did not weigh sufficiently the pros and cons of the application, or take due consideration of the government's policy on renewable energy. "We were very disappointed both with the way the application was handled by the Director of Planning and with the outcome," says David Williams from SWALEC. He does not rule out an appeal against the decision. "We will be holding a meeting next week to decide how we respond."
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