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Get a better look at the blueprints

A new website has gone online aimed at making planning applications – such as the controversial Gilfach Goch windfarm – more accessible to the public.

Robert Berry, a PhD candidate at the University of Glamorgan, has set up the website, based on the Gilfach development, as part of a study into the ways the web can be used to improve levels of public participation in the planning process.

“Normally, planning information is restricted to these large stuffy documents,” said Mr Berry, aged 32.

“And when it is presented at public meetings, sometimes it is hard for people to get to them, due to the fact that the meetings may be held in working hours or in just one location for a limited period of time.

“We hope that it will be of use to anyone who is interested in the windfarm, or planning issues in general.”

He hopes to allow people greater access to the information through web pages, like the ones he has put up on the university’s servers.

“If you would like to take part in our study, e-mail me at my university address and we will supply you with a password so you can get started,” said fourth-year research student Mr Berry.

“Once you have logged into the site, you will be taken through a number of different visualisations of the development, including animated 3-D models and photo-montages.

“You will then be asked to rate each method of depicting the wind turbines out of five for clarity, ease of use and other factors.”

To sign up for the study, e-mail Robert Berry on RABerry@glam.ac.uk to receive the web address as well as your log-in and password.

by Matthew Thomas, Pontypridd Observer


29 November 2007