UK Environmental groups have urged councillors to reject calls for a judicial review of a planned 250-turbine offshore wind farm

Save Our Scenery called for a review after the Gwynt y Môr project, eight miles off the coast, was approved by the UK government.

But Friends of the Earth Cymru, WWF Cymru and the Sustainable Energy Alliance (SEA) all support the plans.

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Conwy council will meet on Wednesday to discuss whether to call for a review.

The windfarm would be situated offshore, 10 miles away from Llandudno

A special meeting was called after 10 councillors signed a letter calling for an opportunity to discuss the wind farm, which was approved last month by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

In the letter they said the decision had been met with “disappointment and anger”.

The letter adds: “There is only a three month window of opportunity for us to support the calls for a judicial review.”

Friends of the Earth Cymru said a judicial review should be avoided.

Its director, Gordon James, said: “Gwynt y Môr should be built as it will generate a tenth of Wales’ electricity consumption and prevent the emission of two million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

“A similar legal challenge last year by an English council against consent for an offshore wind farm failed, with the judge strongly rejecting the council’s case.

“A similar process over Gwynt y Môr could end up with Conwy Council, and local tax payers, facing substantial legal costs.”

Morgan Parry from WWF Cymru said the project was an opportunity to use a “powerful resource” off the Conwy coast.

“Gwynt y Môr represents nothing less than a major step forward for Wales’ ambitions for a low carbon energy supply system,” he added.

SEA – a north Wales based pro-wind campaign group – said a judicial review was “wholly unnecessary”.

Public meeting

Its co-ordinator, Jonathan Lincoln, said the UK was “falling shamefully behind other countries” in its wind turbine programme.

The decision for the wind farm was taken by the Westminster government, as the Welsh Assembly Government does not have the devolved power.

Clwyd West MP, David Jones, has written to Conwy council urging them to take legal advice on the merits of applying for a judicial review.

“Conwy council asked for a public inquiry into the proposal; the request was rejected by the secretary of state,” he said.

“Councillors now owe a positive duty to their electors to take legal advice on the merits of a judicial review application.

“If they decline to do so, the people of this county will find it difficult to understand why,” he added.

Following the project’s approval, anti-wind farm campaigners held a public meeting in Llandudno.

They included professors David Bellamy and former government advisor David Hall.

The special meeting of Conwy County Council will be held at Bodlondeb council offices, Conwy at 1400 GMT on Wednesday.

Source: BBC News

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