After my sojourn in foreign climes I hear on my return that the Gwynt y Môr project to place 160 offshore wind turbines in the sea off Llandudno has been approved and that the work will begin next year.
The news has been welcome by Ieuan Wyn Jones and Cheryl Gillan, and by a number of Welsh bloggers. I'm sorry to break the all welcoming consensus. I think that the project is bad news for Wales.
I have nothing against wind farms, I accept the environmental benefits that projects such as Gwynt y Môr can deliver, but I am also aware of the negative effects of such a project. The noise, the visual impact and the affect on the local environment caused by taking energy out of the wind before it reaches land could be detrimental to the people who live on the coast and to the tourist industry that is the mainstay of the local economy. Incidentally I find the Plaid Blogger, Welsh Ramblings, response to such concerns that people who live in the coast are going to have to get over it is as insensitive as telling people in the Varteg that they should get over the fact that an open cast coal mine might blight their community.
Of course the argument is made that all disadvantages that the project will cause will be outweighed by the advantages that it brings. A point that I agree with in general, but as was the case with water extraction and coal extraction, Wales will bear the brunt of the disadvantages whilst the advantages are enjoyed by those outwith Wales. The economic benefit to Wales from this project will be a poxy 1% of its total value, whilst Wales will suffer 100% of the project's down side.
Rather than welcoming the development Plaid, a so called national party, should be shouting from the rooftops about yet another example of Wales' natural resources being ripped off for the benefit of others!