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Wind farm plans in limbo after council rejects mast  

A wind farm developer is set to appeal after plans to erect a wind measuring device near Porthcawl were thrown out by borough councillors.

Renewable Energy Partnerships Ltd (REP) eventually hopes to build three wind turbines, each with 80m towers and three 45m blades, on the disused airfield near Stormy Down.

But the plans could be in jeopardy after councillors kicked out REP’s bid to erect a 70m high anemometer, designed to record wind speed and direction, at Newton Down.

The mast, which was recommended for approval by planning officers, was intended to remain there for about two years, but was refused by a vote of 23-21, with one abstention.

Coun Ken Watts said the planning application contravened the council’s Unitary Development Plan, which is in force until 2016.

He said the mast and guy wires would take up 1.57 acres of land and if the plan was given the go-ahead, the policy breach would set a precedent.

“Any application for wind turbines in two years’ time would be able to point to the anemometer mast as an existing related structure,” said Coun Watts.

Planning officer David Llewelyn said councillors should disregard the likelihood of a wind farm there.

“You must assess the situation as you see it,” he said.

“It’s a temporary proposal. It’s not an unreasonable application.”

But Coun Bob Burns said asking councillors to ignore the possibility of a wind farm was a nonsense.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Watts said he was not against clean renewable energy, but the anemometer would undermine the integrity of the UDP.

He said some councillors had indicated the plan should be accepted without debate, displaying total disregard for the UDP and the need to protect the nationally recognised importance of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

“I was delighted after the debate that the majority of councillors recognised the importance of the issues at stake and voted with their conscience,” he said.

by Julia Bosnyak, Glamorgan Gazette

WalesOnline

3 July 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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