Ymchwiliad gan Taro 9 i helyntion tyrbeini gwynt sy’n rhannu cymunedau Penrhyn Llŷn. Taro 9 investigates the wind turbine row dividing communities across the Lleyn Peninsula.
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The Lleyn Peninsula is known for its views and tranquillity.
Beneath that calm surface, communities are starting to split.
Accusations have been made that information isn't being shared...
..and that a Government department's figures are wrong.
One councillor has been called upon to resign.
People are unwilling to share their views...
..in case they upset either side.
What has caused this situation?
Plans to develop wind turbines.
They say this is our Tryweryn.
I don't believe there is a sadder scene in Welsh history...
..than that group of people running down the slope in Cwm Celyn.
They divide society completely.
That is one of the worst things about the whole situation.
We're seeing people who have been family friends for decades...
..are falling out. It's terrible.
Where agricultural communities are keen to have renewable energy...
..I believe that development should continue...
..as long as the development is sustainable...
..and isn't detrimental.
I can't see anything detrimental in this turbine.
This was the first wind turbine to be erected on Lleyn.
It's 34 metres high.
It won't be the last...
..but you can't erect a turbine just anywhere on Lleyn.
Some areas are recognised as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
But some familiar faces want the rules to be relaxed...
..so that turbines located anywhere.
But opponents say this has angered them.
They can't see much benefit for the community.
They're also worried about the landscape.
Llanaelhaearn, the village at the foot of the Tre'r Ceiri hillfort.
Part of the community is within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
But recent figures show severe problems with poverty here.
Many families live in fuel poverty.
One of the biggest disputes about wind turbine development is here.
If you look across the valley, you can see the anemometer.
Saint Tudwal's Islands are next to it, well, in the sea nearby.
The turbine will measure 67 metres. So, half again.
David Hoole is the third generation of his family to live here.
He realized his dream of coming to live in the family home where he...
..spent most of his childhood.
He knew nothing of the plans for a wind turbine.
If it's a community project, everybody should know in advance.
I wasn't aware of it.
Most people in the area didn't know about it...
..including the villagers.
This has come in under the community banner.
But the community wasn't able to express its views.
This is the anemometer which measures wind speeds on the site...
..where the turbine would be. The turbine would be 67 metres tall.
But it's claimed local people weren't given enough information.
I don't think they wanted people to know what was happening...
..and that there was a meeting.
When we walked in, there were only half a dozen chairs out.
Almost 100 people turned out.
They weren't advertising it.
Why? What's the reason for that? I don't know.
But I, and some of my neighbours, thought people deserved to know.
As the news of the wind turbine scheme came to light...
..so did the differences between supporters and opponents.
Others were too scared to speak in public...
..in case they upset either side.
It's already split long-standing friendships and family ties...
..just this single proposal.
I can't imagine that this proposal...
..is any different to others on the peninsula.
So, it's very sad when kids that went to school together...
..and are now in their 40s and 50s, no longer speak.
That's the case. That's where we are.
Steve Dorling has lived in this valley for 14 years.
He believes people aren't prepared to speak about the plan in public.
I guess, in a close-knit community...
..people are going to be related to, married to, in business with...
..and any other range of inter-connections...
..any other networking situations that you can describe.
It's a very small community.
If I speak to somebody in Llanaelhaearn this morning...
..somebody on Bardsey will tell me what I said this afternoon.
At the root of the row is Antur Aelhaearn.
It is a co-operative enterprize established 40 years ago...
..where local people made clothes to sell.
That ended and there hasn't been much talk of the Antur until now.
The founder, Dr Carl Clowes...
..has returned to help set up the wind turbine scheme.
People tend to oppose the idea on the whole...
..because they are concerned about the visual impact on the area...
..and the fantastic landscape here.
Dr Clowes is well-known as a man with vision...
..who helps communities.
He wants the turbine to help fund a project...
..to turn the old Babell Chapel into a nursery and heritage centre.
For me, it would be, and I tell colleagues this...
..colleagues from Lleyn and opponents in the area...
..concerned about the landscape...
..the environment is much greater than the physical environment.
It would be a dangerous victory...
..if we managed to preserve this landscape as it is forever.
Taro 9 has also spoken with village residents...
..but they weren't prepared to be filmed.
One person agreed to talk as long as we kept their identity secret.
We have used an actor's voice.
Some people are clearly in favour of the turbine...
..but half the village are against.
There are basic problems with what's being offered.
One offer is for Babell Chapel to be revamped.
But who will benefit?
Is it the four investors or the community?
This is one question being asked.
There's a feeling that the four investors and their families...
..will benefit from the Babell Chapel scheme.
We haven't seen everything.
They should show us their accounts and their business plan...
..so we can see how the village will benefit.
We just want transparency.
If the village gets some money, it will benefit the community.
But are they using that to get this through planning?
Is it being used because they know the only way they'll get...
..something so industrial in such a beautiful place...
..is this community aspect?
The Antur says that's not true.
The community would benefit from £100,000 per annum.
To suggest for a second this is dealing with...
..some individuals more than others, that's not fair.
It doesn't reflect the cooperative spirit...
..that we've got in mind for the area.
Four local farmers are part of the scheme.
Iolo Ellis, John Pritchard and Richard Parry Hughes.
They all own land that's associated with the turbine development.
The fourth, Dewi Hughes, John Pritchard's father-in-law...
..doesn't own land which is part of the development.
I think you're going into detail now.
Dewi is a local landowner.
But not on the site where the turbine will be erected.
He has the right...
..to buy into the scheme like everyone else.
We have to differentiate between rumours and fantasy...
That's what we're trying to do.
I'm sure you are. I'm trying to give you the facts...
..so you have a balanced and transparent programme.
Following criticism about the lack of information...
..about the application, we contacted the four farmers...
..to ask for an interview. They declined.
So we sent them a series of questions.
Why are they supporting the scheme?
How much profit would they make?
Where will the road to the mast be built?
What about the concerns this could lead to more turbines...
..and that there won't be much community benefit.
In response, the farmers said the project...
..was similar to other renewable energy projects...
..backed by the Welsh Government.
They said a final business plan hasn't been completed yet.
A comprehensive planning application will be introduced...
..later on, and the details about land usage will be given then.
Steve Dorling is one of the few who's willing to go on camera.
He said the Antur threw him out because he raised...
..difficult questions about the scheme.
I have a letter saying I was thrown out because I brought...
..the Antur into disrepute. I did that by criticizing their aims...
..as far as this wind turbine proposal goes.
I became outspoken and I became, if you like...
..the opposing voice, although I didn't elect myself...
..to be the opposing voice.
Most of the opposing voice are my Welsh speaking...
..farming friends and neighbours.
In a response to Taro 9 a spokesman for the Antur said Mr Dorling...
..said he'd been thrown out for breaking constitutional rules.
They wouldn't elaborate further.
The turbine for Llanaelhaearn...
..isn't within the borders of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
But there are concerns over it's affect on the landscape.
I'm glad to be called a NIMBY.
At the end of the day, this is my back garden.
I don't want see turbines dotted all over this area.
We have to protect these areas.
You have to draw a line in the sand and say no.
Industrial buildings won't be built in these areas.
But protecting the landscape isn't the only concern.
One of Wales' naturalists is worried about the wider effects...
..based on his experience of turbines in other parts of Wales.
He questions companies' practice of offering something...
..to the communities.
There's a lot of blackmail. We'll build a new centre.
I've seen that in Mid Wales. Communities are split.
That's one the worst things about it.
We see people who have been family friends for decades...
..arguing and that's disgusting.
How should Welsh communities in the Lleyn Peninsula be developed...
..and protected? And how should the environment to be protected?
In several communities, that's what's led to disagreements...
..over wind turbines.
Supporters see them as a renewable way of supporting rural areas...
..but opponents say that's nonsense.
They aren't green. They're built abroad.
The expertise is based abroad.
They're imported here.
They're then brought here on huge lorries.
Roads need to be improved. These small tracks need to be improved...
..so they can be taken to where they'll be erected.
Even with the smallest turbines, you need 200 tonnes of concrete...
..to place every one of them in the ground. What's green about that?
Those arguments have reached the tip of the peninsula...
..to the coast near Aberdaron, an area where it's all turned sour.
They say this is our Tryweryn.
Certainly, there is no sadder sight in Welsh history...
..than seeing those people rushing down the slopes...
..after Cwm Celyn was drowned.
It will be sad to come to Lleyn a few years from now...
..with the place destroyed and the views spoilt.
What's angered some local people is the application...
..for two turbines on Bodrydd farm, four miles from Aberdaron.
The document stating who the landowners were was wrong.
There were basic errors in the information prepared...
..by Natural Resources Wales.
A letter from an opposer wrote a letter to the department...
..was somehow given to the land agency dealing with case.
Every planning application has to have a certificate showing...
..who owns the land. In the case of the Bodrydd turbine...
..the farm's owner, Huw Evans, who refused to speak to us...
..claimed he was the owner.
But following further research, an Isle of Man company, Henniker...
..owns the land.
The Bodrydd application has been presented...
..and many erroneous landowner certificates...
..have been presented.
Why that has happened, I don't know.
A company from the Isle of Man that won't have to pay taxes...
..now owns that land.
Another person opposing this is David Graves.
He spent his childhood on the peninsula...
..and after settling here as an adult, he was shocked...
..by the applications to build turbines.
As an engineer and surveyor, he questioned the Bodrydd application.
He delayed the Bodrydd application by challenging...
..Natural Recourses Wales' report on the turbines' effect...
..on the nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The NRW said it would be 870 metres away from the AONB.
They passed that information on to the NRW and Gwynedd...
..and despite knowing it was wrong and the NRW knew it was wrong...
..the information was used in the report by the Welsh Government.
That report is quite a big deal.
It was also a big deal when they called it back in to say...
..we didn't do our due diligence, we didn't check the figures.
We produced a report for a turbine in the wrong place.
But in response to Mr Graves' complaint...
..while acknowledging they made mistakes...
..Natural Resources Wales said that didn't change their attitude...
..towards the development.
David Graves discovered a letter he'd sent to NRW and others...
..had been given to the Bodrydd land agent, Dylan Evans.
He's the son of Bodrydd's developer and owner, Huw Evans.
How he got it has been almost impossible because the NRW...
..have refused to ask Dylan Evans the simple question, "Who sent it?"
Perhaps it's an answer they don't want to hear.
Taro 9 contacted everyone who received the letter...
..and they all, including Natural Resources Wales...
..deny giving it to Bodrydd's land agent.
The situation was made more complicated because...
..Bodrydd is within the area represented...
..by Plaid Cymru councillor, Gareth Roberts.
He backed the application but people were unhappy...
..as he hadn't declared his wife had been the business partner...
..of Huw Evan's sister in the past.
I'd say it was because people were angry...
..I went contrary to their opinions.
As far as the connection's concerned, my wife...
..was Wilma's business partner when we farmed Bardsey Island...
..as Cig Enlli.
That business ended about 12 years ago.
Gareth Roberts is a local farmer who supports...
..the idea of developing wind turbines.
He says them as a way of supporting communities.
But his views have angered some because he used to chair...
..the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Committee.
I wouldn't feel comfortable to be chair...
..of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Committee and I'd resign.
But Gareth Roberts says he did resign as chairman...
..a few days before the planning meeting...
..where he spoke in favour of the Bodrydd application.
One of our problems here in Lleyn is we can't create wealth...
..to keep our children here, to create a future for them.
Are we creating a museum here?
Nobody indigenous lives here, they can't afford to live here...
..and everything is prohibited here.
It's a perfect place for visitors while no-one lives here.
Despite the opposition, this application was passed last month.
Two turbines will be built here.
But opponents will push for the decision to be overruled...
..on the basis that information by Natural Resources Wales was wrong.
What's angered people who have spoken to Taro 9 is...
..that rules for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty...
..which can be seen here in dark green...
..have prevented them from making small changes to their homes.
They argue attitudes towards turbines appears different...
..but the local AM is in favour of relaxing the rules.
Where there are rural communities that are eager...
..for renewable energy on their land, that development...
..should be permitted as long as it is renewable...
..and won't be detrimental.
I can't see anything detrimental in this wind turbine.
He denies saying he doesn't see the point in protecting landscapes...
..for a few immigrants.
But he does think people moving into an area...
..should be more tolerant.
I have said I've noticed there are many people...
..who have moved into Wales and are voicing their opinions strongly...
..against Wales developing natural resources.
I think that's very serious.
If people move to live in an area...
..they have to co-operate with the people of that area.
The economy of this area is important to us all.
But a Llais Gwynedd councillor says wind turbines aren't the answer.
Anwen Davies, who farms locally, started a needlework business...
..in order to make ends meet.
But she understands the financial appeal of turbines.
She was made an offer by a developer.
The price he was going to pay was about £70,000 per annum.
I've left it there.
I don't want a turbine here.
I don't want to see a turbine in my back garden either.
People have to be cautious.
What I've got to say is this.
I'm not going to point the finger at people.
I've got nothing against the landowners...
..but I am against their turbines.
There's a difference between people and turbines.
According to opponents, there's general concern...
..about the number of applications. The green ones have been passed.
The ones in red have been rejected, and those in yellow are proposed.
Why are they taking so long?
Because the wind turbines are still coming in.
They take so long.
I know there is time to put things together...
..but they have to realize that these turbines are still coming in.
It won't be long before they've closed in on us here.
Gwynedd Council told Taro 9 they are still in consultation...
..over the wind planning guidelines on wind energy on land.
They hope to publish a report next year.
In the meantime, as more applications are made...
..opinions are split on the effects turbines will have...
..on the main industry here - tourism.
The Lleyn Peninsula's relationship with tourism...
..has been quite odd over the years.
We are dependant on tourism, although its impact sometimes...
..in places like Abersoch, isn't what you'd hope for.
You have to face the fact that we're dependant on tourism.
Tourism is all important to us now.
I'd say that tourism is the most important thing we have now.
We discovered that during foot and mouth.
A number of companies folded.
I'm in favour of renewable energy because it's good for the world.
If Iolo Williams wants to protect the Snowdon lily...
..from climate change and its effect on Snowdon...
..the way to do that is to create carbon-free energy.
Over the next few months, the debate on wind turbines...
..their cost and effect on the landscape will intensify...
..in this beautiful part of Wales.
There will be further applications and further opposition.
According to those in favour, they can secure a future...
..for communities in a Welsh stronghold.
But according to opponents, they could threaten those communities.
At the end of the day, I see this as a test case.
If it's passed in a place as beautiful as this...
..and so prominent in Lleyn's landscape...
..even though we are in Eifionydd, just a stone's throw away...
..it's all over for the Lleyn Peninsula.
There's plenty of work to be done with the money.
Everyone will benefit.
I predict that the Antur and Llanaelhaearn...
..will be a village that will be treasured.
It will be something people will realize is the way forward.
We've been pillaged right from the start.
We've been pillaged for our lead...
..for our gold, for our iron, for our steel...
..for our coal, for our water.
The last thing left is the beautiful scenery.
As chairman of the Environment and Sustainability Committee...
..it's my duty to support, in principle, renewable energy...
..in order to protect the area and create a livelihood for people.
S4C subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Ymchwiliad arbennig i’r helyntion cynyddol sy’n rhannu cymunedau ym Mhenrhyn Llŷn oherwydd cynlluniau i ddatblygu tyrbeini gwynt. Dywed y naturiaethwr Iolo Williams bod rhaid eu gwrthwynebu oherwydd nad ydynt yn wyrdd a bydda nhw’n rhannu teuluoedd, cymdogion a ffrindiau. Ond yn ôl yr Aelod Cynulliad lleol Dafydd Ellis Thomas, mae’n bwysig eu datblygu er mwyn cynnal cymunedau a chadw pobl yng nghefn gwlad. Bydd na olwg arbennig ar helyntion Llanaelhaearn ac ardal Aberdaron.An investigation into the increasingly bitter row over wind turbine developments in communities across the Lleyn Peninsula.