The Forestry Commission have agreed to allow wind farm developers to build a temporary road near Nant yr Arian should turbine plans be approved.
SSE Renewables has secured an agreement with Forestry Commission Wales for an access route at Bwlch Nant yr Arian for the use of abnormal load vehicles, in essence the turbines, during the construction phase of the proposed Nant y Moch wind farm, should the project receive planning consent.
The agreement is likely to be welcomed by surrounding communities who voiced concerns over potential disruption along the original route through Furnace and Tal y Bont during SSE’s consultation exercise.
The agreed access route will also ensure minimal impact on the popular visitor centre, which will remain open except for a short period of a few weeks while the site entrance is built, should the project receive planning consent. During the construction phase vehicle movements will be strictly managed to alleviate impact on the visitor experience at Nant yr Arian.
SSE Renewables Community Liaison Officer Eluned Lewis said: “The issue of transportation and access has been the key topic which has generated the most concern within the communities in which we have been working.
“The impact on the visitor centre at Bwlch Nant yr Arian will be minimal, as a new purpose-built access route through the visitor centre car park is proposed for the abnormal load vehicles and deliveries of only one to two convoys per day are expected.”
A successful dry run of the proposed delivery route from Swansea docks to the site in November 2009 identified only a few locations where slight adjustments need to be made such as the temporary removal of street ‘furniture’ such as signage.
Ruth Jenkins, Forestry Commission Wales Forest District Manager, said: “It is important to us that we agreed a proposal that would work to minimise large vehicle impacts on local communities, whilst ensuring visitors can still fully enjoy the forest experience at the visitor centre. We have been pleased to work with SSE to ensure that short-term interruptions will be out-weighed by long-term gain from this agreement. FCW is now working on plans designed to mitigate impact and enhance visitor experience and visitor number to the area.
SSE are also giving the Forestry Commission £800,000 to make a number of improvements to the Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre.
These include improvements to the existing mountain bike routes; developments to the children’s play area; additional car parking at the visitor centre; and improvements to the main building. I hope this demonstrable investment clearly reflects FCW’s commitment to the long term future of one of its prize attractions.”
SSE will shortly submit a formal Planning Application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) for approval.
SSE Renewables is holding a launch event to provide details of the final design of the wind farm and the consultation activity undertaken to date, ahead of a planning application being submitted early next year. The event will be held on: Monday 29 November at Tal y bont Memorial Hall between 3pm and 8pm.
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