Many people in Ceredigion will be shocked to hear that plans for Wales’ largest wind farm will be considered by a Quango rather than by democratically elected politicians.
The Bristol based Infrastructure Planning Commission will decide on all major planning applications in England and Wales from 1 March 2010.
This includes large wind farms with a generating capacity of over 50 megawatts. The planned wind farm at Nant-y-Moch, near Aberystwyth, has up to 80 turbines generating between 140 and 170 megawatts.
This controversial proposal has already attracted opposition from local people who believe that Ceredigion already has more than its fair share of wind farms and who object to seeing even more of the county covered by these large industrial turbines.
And yet the final decision will be taken by unaccountable bureaucrats. This cannot be right.
I believe the final say over such projects should lie with the National Assembly for Wales, with democratically elected Assembly Members being able to consider all the evidence, come to a balanced decision and be accountable to the people for their actions.
I also believe we need to look at other sources of green energy-solar, tidal and hydro, as well as nuclear (with proper safeguards).
This is the way forward.