United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Independent confirmation

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Most of the public opinion studies published during the relatively short lifetime of commercial wind energy in Britain have been initiated by organisations within the business. Now an independent study for a Welsh environment watchdog confirms these findings. The Countryside Council for Wales -- known to be only lukewarm in its attitude to wind energy -- commissioned a survey of public attitude to the visual and ecological impact of three wind farms in Wales: Llangwyryfon near Aberystwyth, Llandinam near Newtown and Rhyd-y-Groes in Anglesey.

The survey found that most local people think the wind farms are positive features, causing little disruption. They feel the developments are conspicuous but not intrusive and their location in wild areas is appropriate. As many as 70% are prepared to see more in their area.

The study also finds that although the Rhyd-y-Groes development of Bonus turbines by Ecogen fits well into the landscape, the Wind Energy Group machines at Llangwyryfon, a National Windpower project, do not. They conflict with the pattern of landcover, say those surveyed. The Mitsubishi machines at Llandinam also diminish the remoteness and wildness of the high quality landscape. The study says that all three developments have only a low impact on nature conservation.

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