Plans for a three-turbine wind farm near Porthcawl are back in the spotlight.
Town councillors have raised no formal objection to the erection of a 70m high anemometer, designed to record wind speed and direction, at Newton Down.
Renewable Energy Partnerships Ltd (REP) eventually hope to build three wind turbines, each with 80m towers and three 45m blades, on the disused airfield near Stormy Down.
Public consultation began in April and people have until July 31 to submit their views to a website.
Chairman of the town council’s planning committee, John Bunker, said: “All they’re doing is measuring wind speed at the moment.”
He said the anemometer would be sited on land owned by the Knight family, currently farmed by a tenant.
Coun Jill Sweet said: “It’s actually very large and tall and it would be seen from a long way away.
“You’d be able to see it almost from the Heritage Coast.”
But Coun Bunker said the anemometer would not be going on conservation land.
“The difficulty we have with objecting to anything is that it has to be a planning reason, not a personal reason,” he said.
Coun Sweet said she believed the anemometer would be visually intrusive.
But Coun Bunker said the location was an area of open land.
REP says on its website: “To design the wind farm it is necessary to measure the wind speeds in advance.
“We have applied for planning permission to erect a temporary anemometer mast on the wind farm site. This will be a thin steel tube supported by guys.
“It should be erected for about one to two years. This is not part of the wind farm and does not indicate that the wind farm will go ahead.”
Caroline Vaughan, of Penylan Avenue, Porthcawl, listened to the debate from the public gallery.
Afterwards, she claimed the mast would be seen from all over Porthcawl and the surrounding area, adding:
“I’m surprised a copy of the Unitary Development Plan hasn’t been issued to every councillor so they can make an informed decision.”
But town clerk Ceri Anderson said there was a copy of the UDP for inspection in the council office.
Director of REP, Richard Hadwin, said the bottom of the anemometer tube would be 22cm wide, narrowing to 15cm at the tip.
“It’s important people don’t think this is something that is being railroaded through,” said Mr Hadwin.
“It’s not part of the same scheme. It may be the case that the mast goes up and reveals issues that means that the wind farm cannot go ahead.”
by Julia Bosnyak, Glamorgan Gazette
19 June 2008
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