A former leader of Caerphilly Council has declared his opposition to the scale of a proposed council-owned solar scheme on land at Cwm Ifor Farm, Penyrheol.
In a leaflet to residents, the council said that a full and final business case for the solar farm development would be presented to the authority’s Cabinet next year, if it proves viable. It is estimated that 40 jobs will be created through the lifetime of the development of at least 35 years.
Penyrheol Plaid Cymru Councillor Lindsay Whittle said: “I’m fully in support of the green agenda and renewable energy but I have serious misgivings about the proposals as they stand.
“I am only in favour of the so-called Green Area being developed. My objections to the Red Area have been fully accepted. However, the Amber Area has many places visible from the Caerphilly Basin, particularly Hendredenny and Cwm Ifor/Caledfryn estates, even as far as Watford estates.
“People in Caerphilly are already furious at the loss of many fields to housing and while they will by and large be in favour of alternative energy they will now surely start to question ‘why us again’.”
Consultation with the public on the council scheme takes place virtually later this month (August) and it is important that the people in power engage meaningfully with the public, take people with them and not to drive through proposals the public find unacceptable. It must be done with consent,” added Councillor Whittle, who said that the authority was spending £500,000 on a feasibility study.
Councillor Lindsay Whittle added: “There’s also another consultation over a planning application by a private firm to site 20 wind turbines across Eglwysilan Common from Cilfynydd to Abertridwr, Senghenydd, Nelson and Penyrheol.
“I repeat that I’m in favour of alternative energy but yet again greed gets the better and our open spaces get threatened yet again. The 20 turbines proposed under this proposal is just too many.”