FEARS have been raised that rare red squirrels will be “destroyed” if controversial wind turbine plans are given the go ahead.
Clocaenog Forest, Cyffylliog could see 32 turbines built on its land risking the existence of red squirrels in Wales.
Clive Owen from St Asaph is angry about RWE npower renewable’s plans and is worried about the detrimental affect the turbines will have on the rare squirrel
“If these monstrous towers are built they will destroy the squirrels. They are such huge eye sores in such a beautiful area,” said Clive.
“The squirrels can only survive in a certain environment, if it goes ahead they will push them out and may be nearly extinct in Wales.
“One quarter of the forest will be destroyed if it goes ahead, they are trying to go over the biodiversity scheme by proposing this,” he added.
Clocaenog Forest is thought to have the biggest red squirrel population in Wales and the species is part of the Denbighshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan to protect the species.
A Red Squirrel Trust Wales spokesman said: “It is really important how much of the forest is removed and how the remaining forest is then managed.
“I have never seen a detailed enough plan on what the impact will be on the red squirrel.
“The plans could integrate the red squirrel but it could also be responsible for damaging it.
“One will hope because it is a government owned forest they will choose with balance and plans will be put in place.”
The Prince of Wales is a patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust and helped launch the charity earlier this year.
A spokeswoman from RWE npower renewables said: “As for any development of this nature, there are a number of environmental issues that need to be given careful consideration.
“Clocaenog Forest is one of the most surveyed areas for the red squirrel population in Wales.
“The detailed environmental studies that we have carried out on site will allow us to design the layout of the wind farm to avoid environmental constraints and also suggest the appropriate mitigation measures.
“We are working alongside local and national experts to ensure the site is properly researched and that our proposals are appropriate.”
In Denbighshire there are 29 operational wind turbines, another 26 have been given consent and applications for 57 more turbines are expected within the next year.
Denbighshire County Council’s planning officer for renewable energy schemes, said: “Denbighshire County Council is a statutory consultee in the planning process.
“We were expecting an application to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate this autumn, however the developer (RWE) has informed me that their project timescale has been amended and they are now working towards a 2013 submission date.”
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