Plans to site a 164 foot high wind speed monitoring mast on a Cynwyl Elfed farm were approved by county planners despite objectors claiming they were rushed through.
The application by David Anthony Thomas, of Fferm Nantygelli, consists of the temporary erection of a 50-metre high wind speed measuring anemometer mast for a period of 36 months. The applicant has stated that the mast will be used to collect wind speed and direction data on the site.
Such masts are frequently used to determine whether sites are suitable for potential use as wind farms.
The application was published on Carmarthenshire Council’s planning website on December 17, and was later recommended for approval at the January meeting of the council’s planning committee on January 12.
At the January meeting, members of the committee heard that letters of objection, including neighbouring Llanpumsaint Community Council, had been received.
Concerns were raised that the application would be the precursor to the erection of wind turbines on site, despite being outside the Assembly designated TAN8 (Technical Advice Note) area, favoured for wind turbines in Carmarthenshire.
One of the main issues was the speed in determining the application, with the consultation period held over the Christmas period when the council offices were closed, with insufficient time for the public to consider the proposal.
Planning officer Stephen Thomas told members of the committee: “No application has been submitted for wind turbines.”
He said that wind turbine development under five megawatts of power could be considered outside TAN8 areas, but stressed that no such application had been considered.
However, councillors heard that the applicant hoped to develop his dairy farm, which may lead to the need to produce green energy on site, which could include “one medium-sized wind turbine on the farm”. Speaking after the meeting, Carmarthenshire Council development control officer Stuart Willis said: “The application was registered on November 3 and the consultation letters sent out on November 5.
“The community council, local member, National Air Traffic Services and Ministry of Defence were consulted. A site notice was also displayed at the site in the week ending November 19.
“It does appear that the application was not put on the authority’s website until December 17. However, a copy of the application details was in our Customer Service Building at 3 Spilman Street from early November and was available to view.”
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