120 members of the public attended an information session on the 31st of May to discuss and understand the giant wind farm proposals on top of the Radnor Forest.

The public consultation, organised by Friends of Radnor Forest, Re-Think and representatives of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) looked at what the proposed Nant Mithil Energy Park would entail.

Those in the area have said that ‘very few local residents’ understand the ‘full implications’ of the proposal, which would see 31 wind turbines up to 220 metres high covering the top of the Radnor Forest. There are concerns it would dominate the skyline and be visible from all over Mid Wales and beyond, blighting the natural beauty the area holds.

As the process was explained, residents were shocked to hear that only 7 of the proposed 31 turbines lie within the Welsh Government Pre-Assessed Area 4, an area defined as ‘capable of accommodating development in an acceptable way’. Opposition groups have argued that there is an implication that giant wind turbines sited outside these areas are not acceptable or favoured and that what is happening is a ‘blatant land grab’.

The proposal is currently in the Pre-Application phase which ends when a full application is submitted before early May 2025, or when the project is abandoned. The current phase of consultation ends on 24th June this year, by which time the public and statutory consultees should submit comments to the developer, Bute Energy.

Residents have also flagged their concerns for the surrounding landscape, pointing out Policy 18 of the Future Wales plans, which identifies criteria the project has to adhere to. The residents don’t want adverse impacts on their landscape, local community, or individual dwellings.

There are concerns from Re-Think that the project would see 27.45 km or new roads built across the site, which covers nearly 2000 hectares. The group have also pointed out that 141,000 tonnes of concrete would go into the ground for the turbine bases and crane hard standings, and that up to 100,000 trees could be felled onsite. There is also concern that the dark sky associated with Radnor Forest would be lost.

A local retired national grid manager talked at the event, noting that the Welsh Energy Policy could fail to meet its targets.

Bute Energy are holding public exhibitions in Penybont on Friday 7th June 2-7pm, and New Radnor on Saturday 8th June 10am-3pm. More public meetings have been organised for Tuesday 11th June 7pm Penybont Community Council, Penybont Community Centre, Thursday 13th 7pm June New Radnor Community Council, New Radnor Community Centre and Friday 14th June 7pm Dolau Community Centre.

On Monday 17th June at 7 pm, Fay Jones will hold an event in the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.

The deadline for comments to Bute Energy is 24th June, but there will be an opportunity to comment on the full application for 35 days if or when it is submitted.