PLANS for a new windfarm south of Newtown are to go before Welsh Government planners after an application was formally validated.

The new 17-turbine Garn Fach windfarm, which would lie to the west of the village of Llathddu, near Llanbadarn Fynydd, was first put forward in early 2020, originally with 22 turbines.

Now the plans, put forward by EDF Renewables, have been validated by Powys Council, and will go before the Welsh Government's Planning and Environment Decisions Wales department, which will look into it as a proposal of national significance.

EDF Renewables UK’s principal project development manager for Wales, Simon Morgan said: “Garn Fach Wind Farm is an 85 MW, 17 turbine proposal, which would be capable of generating enough renewable electricity for 69,000 homes and would make a major contribution towards meeting climate change targets and securing UK energy supplies at a time of mounting costs and growing uncertainty.

“We are proud to be working in partnership with 14 local farming families and that the Garn Fach project is offering significant benefits to the community.

"Our goal is that the wind farm will be seen as part of the community and a symbol of our collective fight to tackle climate change, helping to accelerate to a net zero future where clean energy powers our lives.”

County Times: EDF's outline of the Garn Fach site.

EDF's outline of the Garn Fach site.

The Welsh Government department has now opened its own consultation into the plans, which runs until June 28, and will need to look over dozens of planning documents before it makes a decision.

EDF Renewables UK says it will offer an annual index-linked community benefit of up to £425,000 per year for the entire 30-year lifetime of the project and is including an element of local ownership in its plans.

It is also promising other benefits include creating "better habitats" for flora and fauna on the site, enabling recreational access to the on-site wind farm tracks for cyclists, adding new permissive bridleways and a permissive footpath to the scheduled monument, Fowler’s Arm Chair.

The site had previously been scoped for a windfarm by another developer, under the name Llaithddu, which would have seen 29 turbines built by the farm land owner and a wind energy company called Fferm Wynt Llaithddu cyf.

That was rejected in 2015, on the grounds that the southern section of the site contravened planning policies, and would cause significant harm to the landscape. That section will not include any turbines under the new plans.

EDF now hopes the proposal for fewer turbines, with tip heights reaching just under 150m, will prove more palatable for local people.

In June last year MP Craig Williams and MS Russell George raised concerns over the proposal, partly on the grounds that there was no existing infrastructure to carry energy from the site into England.

It is not the only major project in Montgomeryshire currently being considered by the Welsh Government. The Buttington Incinerator and a proposed new crematorium near Caersws are also currently in the hands of national planners.