NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales has called on the Welsh Government to stop desecrating the countryside in Mid and West Wales.
Speaking in the Senedd, Mr Hamilton, a member of the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, heavily criticised the government’s National Development Framework 2020-2040.
He told members he felt the document, for Mid and West Wales, in particular, was the environmental equivalent of Henry V111’s despoliation of churches and monasteries and there was a conflict between economic growth and tackling climate change.
“I believe that the overwhelming majority of the people of Wales are far more interested in economic growth and improving their standard of living than the airy-fairy notions of an undeliverable climate change target, which Governments actually have no possibility of influencing.
“Wales is the poorest of all the UK nations and regions of England, on the latest gross value added figures, and I believe that the Welsh Government should make economic growth its top priority.
“Wales needs economic development and poverty eradication. In the latest report from Welsh Government, fuel poverty in Wales stands at 12 percent, which is an eighth of our population that has to spend more than 10 percent of its income on keeping warm in the winter.
“Whatever we do in this country, it’s going to make no difference whatsoever to global warming, that’s the fundamental backstop of this issue.”
Mr Hamilton, who continues to campaign with local residents, against windfarm projects which affect countryside views, said there was a presumption, in the document, in favour of development for more of them and similar schemes which would desecrate the landscape.
He spoke about recent projects, which had been given the go-ahead despite objections at Hendy, Carmarthenshire, Bryn Blaen, Powys and Rhoscrowther in Pembrokeshire.
He added: “The Hendy windfarm was rejected by Powys councillors and their view was upheld by the Planning Inspector. However, the Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffith overruled that decision saying, in her view, the benefits outweigh any negative impacts. The Bryn Blaen scheme at Llangurig apparently has never actually even generated a volt or watt of electricity.
“Wind projects are a massive scam funded by taxpayers as part of a futile policy of cutting global carbon emissions. The CO2 reduction from Hendy will be wiped out in seconds by the growth in China and India. However, Mid and West Wales will have to suffer these appalling eyesores, making millions for speculators at the expense of all local electricity consumers.”