Resource Documents: Wales (12 items)
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Author: Petitions Committee – National Assembly for Wales
In July 2011, the Petitions Committee of the National Assembly for Wales was presented with a petition stating:
We call upon the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to pass a statute controlling the noise nuisance from wind turbines during anti-social hours. We ask for the implementation of respite periods during which time turbines would be switched off.
Noise respite periods are common in public health legislation. They are called for by the World Health Organisation in their Community Noise report; and are currently implemented in the U.K. on airport operations, construction sites and factories and other evening and overnight noise nuisance.
We ask that this applies to turbines above 1.3 MW, and that respite periods be between 18.00Hrs to 06.00Hrs for turbines within 1.5 Km of individual residences; and 22.00Hrs to 06.00 Hrs for turbines within 2Km of communities. Authorities within Wales determining applications under 50MW Plate Capacity, and the Infrastructure Planning Commission determining those over 50MW should make developers aware of this Public Health restriction which may affect individual turbines.
The petition was raised by James Shepherd Foster, a retired engineer, and collected 1074 signatures. It was first considered by Committee in September 2011.
The Committee could only consider the elements of the petition relating to windfarm development under 50MW, as responsibility for larger developments is retained at Westminster.
Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that the Welsh Government should amend Statutory Planning Guidance to introduce buffer zones that maintain the current 500 metres minimum distance between dwellings and turbines, and increase the separation distance as appropriate, and in specified circumstances up to 1500 metres, according to environmental factors such as the topography and the ambient noise levels of the area.
Recommendation 2: The Committee recommends that ETSU-R-97 guidelines are revised to take into account the lower ambient noise levels in rural areas and the latest research and World Health Organisation evidence on the effects of noise on sleep disturbance.
Recommendation 3: The Committee recommends that statutory planning guidance is amended to include a requirement that faulty turbines are switched off at specified times overnight as soon as a fault affects its noise emissions and that turbines are not returned to full operation until any such faults are fully repaired.
Recommendation 4: The Committee recommends that the Institute of Acoustics Working Group carries out meaningful consultation with people living close to wind turbines so that their experiences can help to shape the conclusions and recommendations of the Group that are expected to be published in September 2012.
Download original document: “Control of Noise from Wind Turbines”
Author: House of Lords
A Bill To Make provision for a minimum distance between wind turbines and residential premises according to the size of the wind turbine; and for connected purposes.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
1. Planning permission
(1) No relevant authority may grant planning permission for the construction of a wind turbine generator unless it meets the minimum distance requirement under section 2, subject to the exception in section 3.
(2) “Relevant authority” means the local authority or government department with the power to grant planning permission for, or in the case of major infrastructure projects over 50 megawatts, the Secretary of State with the power to grant development consent for, a wind turbine generator.
2. Requirements for minimum distance
(1) The “minimum distance requirement” means the necessary minimum distance between the wind turbine generator and residential premises as set out in subsection (4).
(2) “Residential premises” means any premises the main purpose of which is to provide residential accommodation, including farmhouses.
(3) If a number of wind turbine generators are being built as part of the same project the minimum distance requirement applies to each wind turbine generator individually.
(4) If the height of the wind turbine generator is—
(a) greater than 25m, but does not exceed 50m, the minimum distance requirement is 1000m;
(b) greater than 50m, but does not exceed 100m, the minimum distance requirement is 1500m;
(c) greater than 100m, but does not exceed 150m, the minimum distance requirement is 2000m;
(d) greater than 150m, the minimum distance requirement is 3000m.
(5) The height of the wind turbine generator is measured from the base of the column to the end of the blade tip at its highest point.
(6) There is no minimum distance requirement if the height of the wind turbine generator does not exceed 25m.
(7) If planning permission is granted on the condition that the proposed wind turbine generator meets the minimum distance requirement under subsection (5) the actual height of the wind turbine generator must not exceed the maximum height in relation to that minimum distance.
House of Lords, Session 2010 – 11
Sponsor: Lord Reay
Web site: services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/windturbinesminimumdistancesfromresidentialpremiseshl.html
1st reading: 26 July 2010
2nd reading: 10 June 2011
House of Lords, Session 2012 – 13
Web site: services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/windturbinesminimumdistancefromresidentialpremises.html
1st reading: 14 May 2012
[Note: 1000 metres = 3281 feet = 0.62 mile; 50 metres = 164 feet]
Download original document: “Wind Turbines (Minimum Distances from Residential Premises) Bill”
Economics, Emissions, Environment, Health, Noise, Property values, Wales, Wildlife •
Author: Conservation of Upland Powys
Conservation of Upland Powys was formed by people living within the county, our members range from families that have farmed the same land for generations to those who have more recently chosen the tranquillity, beauty and quality of mid-Wales life for their home. Our diverse membership, from all ages and all walks of life, shares the commitment to preserve the unspoilt uplands of Powys from inappropriate development for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone. We have inherited the timeless beauty of these landscapes from our forebears and we recognise our duty to hand these pristine landscapes and environments on to future generations in the same, or better condition as we received them. The proliferation of wind turbines is a serious current and long-term threat to upland wildlife, landscapes and the ways of life that they support. We base our statements and conclusions on real world evidence and find none to support the contention that wind farms will provide secure, reliable electricity or reduce carbon dioxide levels.
To begin we refer you to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study which is a major international initiative to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity, to highlight the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to draw together expertise from the fields of science, economics and policy to enable practical actions moving forward. http://www.teebweb.org/
The access to information in the EIA is grossly inadequate and not in keeping with Equal Opportunities or Social Inclusion legislation.
The fragmentation of information throughout numerous volumes and chapters of the application makes the assimilation of information time consuming and arduous. We question whether the information provided by the developers complies with DDA regulations and whether it is reasonable to expect local people to pay to be able to study the information; or alternatively travel to the nearest large town to view the ES for a short period. This and the other similar applications do not comply with Equal Opportunities or Social Inclusion objectives identified by Westminster and The National Assembly For Wales. With the best will in the world it would be almost impossible for any member of the public to study the documents in the Powys County Council Offices; the documents are difficult to navigate. We also point out that in the hardcopy some pages are not numbered and in the DVD copy the index/contents page does not work electronically: such simple matters left undone, but an example of the standard of this piece of work.
We conclude from information assimilated so far that this application is disproportionate, causing severe degradation of the landscape and social and economic dislocation for only a marginal, or even illusory, benefit. The layout is in conflict with the area and even with other applications. The LANDMAP description of Esgair Cwm Owen Uplands uses positive adjectives (harmonious, attractive) in contrast to adjacent upland areas where wind farms are sited. …
Download original document: “Conservation of Upland Powys – Formal objection to Tirgwynt wind farm application”
Author: Wild, Stuart
by Stuart B Wild, MRTPI MCIM,
an Inspector appointed by the Welsh Ministers,
The development proposed is the construction of 13 wind turbine generators (up to 125m in overall height) c/w electrical control room & compound area, new & improved access tracks, underground cabling, 80m anemometry mast, ancillary works and equipment; temporary construction works; new vehicular access from the minor county road; removal of conifer forest.
Decision: I dismiss the appeal.
Main issues: I consider that the main issues in this case are the visual effects of the proposal, both within the locality and from more distant views such as from the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); and the effects of noise on the amenity of residents within the locality.
Overall Conclusions: I conclude that this proposal would be in serious conflict with the appropriate UDP policy. The benefits of the provision of renewable energy would not outweigh the harm I have identified. The imposition of conditions would not overcome these strong planning objections. Therefore, for the reasons given above, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.
[Importantly, as the developer had noted, “The site is in Area A of the Strategic Search Area (SSA) as designated by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in Technical Advice Note 8 (TAN 8). Gorsedd Bran also sits within the refined area as designated by the joint Denbighshire/Conwy County Council Interim Planning Guidance (IPG). Despite being within a designated wind farm development zone and contrary to the recommendation of Council Planning Officers the scheme has been refused planning consent.”]
Download original document: “Appeal Decision – Gorsedd Bran, Nantglyn, Wales”