Monday, 15 March 2010

Plaid demands investigation into windfarm compensation payments

Following concerns raised by Plaid’s Aberconwy candidate Phil Edwards about the compensation process for the Gwynt y Mor windfarm off Llandudno, Plaid Cymru’s leader at Westminster, Elfyn Llwyd MP, has laid an Early Day Motion demanding an investigation.

In the EDM, Mr Llwyd argues that the present system often favours international companies rather than the local councils who should be benefiting from the compensation schemes.

Elfyn Llwyd MP said:
“I am calling for an investigation of the current compensation system to ensure that local authorities and communities get the best possible deal when windfarms are erected so that they can address any negative impacts which may arise.

“At present, international energy companies are in a position where they can string out agreements on compensation over a long period of time and manipulate the planning process until it becomes a done deal on their terms.

“I want to see a situation where local authorities can get a fair deal for themselves and their tax-payers.”

Phil Edwards added:

“I am concerned that the amount of compensation paid to some communities and the processes undertaken by the multinationals.

“In the case of the Gwynt y Mor wind farm there have been interminable delays in the discussions between the Government, Conwy County Borough Council and nPower Renewables over the amount of money to be given to the Communities Fund.

“This is money that would go back into our local communities, but is being delayed because there is no efficient and fair method to ensure that the right amount of compensation is paid out by the company involved.

“As we know only too well here in North Wales, Plaid Cymru politicians have been standing up for our communities in Aberconwy. We're on their side in this struggle against the global giants and big business.”



That this House notes the ongoing discussions between Conwy County Borough Council and npower Renewables regarding the amount of money to be contributed to the Communities Fund as a result of the construction of the Gwynt y Môr field of wind turbines close to the North Wales coast; further notes that similar discussions are ongoing around the United Kingdom; expresses concern that the bargaining ability of local authorities and communities is dependent upon the stage of the planning process at which negotiations are taking place; finds it unfair that international companies can benefit from prolonged discussions over planning issues and find themselves in a stronger bargaining position so that they pay a reduced contribution to the Communities Fund; and calls for an investigation which will make recommendations into the best way to ensure a just and equitable system that will assist local authorities and communities in getting the best possible deal from such negotiations so that communities can have the best opportunity of addressing the negative impacts such projects can have on an area and local tourism industries.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to have your say on Phil's campaign.