THE WELSH Assembly has unveiled a new planning policy for the development of onshore wind farms that indicates the areas it believes are most suitable for projects.

Though it cautions that the map is not a definitive guide to where wind farms will, or will not, be built, its publication will be welcomed by farmers and landowners put off clean energy generation by the high the cost of obtaining planning consent.

Local authorities have been given new draft planning advice described in an assembly statement as “clear guidance” on the development of all renewable energy technologies.

The list of most suitable sites is expected to help the assembly achieve its target of getting 10% of Welsh energy needs from clean sources by 2010.

Andrew Davies, minister for economic development, says it is based on thorough examination of all environmental, economic and social issues.

“Within the current UK energy market, onshore wind is the principle renewable technology with potential to help us meet our target,” he insisted.