A 120-metre tall wind turbine recently erected in the East of Cardiff has angered some local residents, who have branded it an eyesore.
The huge structure went up on January 19 at Wentloog Environmental Centre, off Wentloog Road in Trowbridge. It was built by energy company Ecotricity, and although not yet fully operational, it will be used to generate power for on-site energy company, G24 Innovations.
The windmill is the first in the world to be used to power other sources of renewable energy as it will be sourcing the company’s high-tech solar panels.
Because of its size, the turbine is clearly visible from various points around Rumney, as well as from Trowbridge and St Mellons, and some local residents have not welcomed it.
Cheryl O’Sullivan, 56, a pharmacist from Matthysens Way, St Mellons, said: “It is visible from my house, and no matter what direction you drive in, you can see it.
“It’s not the prettiest thing and I just don’t like that it’s in your face everywhere you go. I’m going to wait and see what the noise pollution is like once it has started up. If it’s loud, I’m sure all the residents where I live will be up in arms.”
Once functioning, the turbine is expected to generate enough energy for the equivalent use of over 1,700 homes, and will save more than 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere each year.
Another unhappy resident, Karen Davies, 48, an assessor from Rhyl Road in Rumney, can also see the structure from her house.
She said: “It’s an eyesore. I just think it’s bloody ugly. If it was going to help us in any way, then fine, but it’s not nice when it’s right outside your front door.”
A common reaction from most local residents is one of shock, with the majority claiming they were given no information about the turbine before it went up.
Mrs Davies said: “I could see JCBs working on it but I had no prior warning, nobody came around the houses to tell us.”
Stephen Burt, Chief Financial Officer of G24 Innovations, said: “Local companies and residents were given full public consultation on two occasions and local exhibitions were held to help explain and visualise the turbine.
“We received no adverse reaction at the time and there were no objections raised in the public consultation process. We aim to continue to build links with the local community.”
Some local residents are not opposed to the turbine, even though they have a clear view of it from their homes.
Mike Thomas, Community Pastor, living on Llandudno Road, Rumney, said: “I can see it from my house, and I was a bit surprised by it, but pleased that they’re doing something green.
“It does affect the view but as it’s for a good cause, I don’t mind so much.”
Mr Burt said the attractiveness of wind turbines is subject to personal opinion, and hopes the new structure will help to promote Cardiff as an energy capital of the world by being the first to source renewable energy from renewable energy.
He said: “Our aim is always to create the maximum environmental benefit for the minimum environmental impact.
“The wind turbine meets or exceed s all of the strict criteria in national planning regulations designed to ensure any application is appropriately sited for local people and wildlife.”
Estate agent, Beth Christofides, of Darlows in Rumney, said the turbine has not yet proved to be an issue in the sale of houses.
She added, although it may possibly affect the saleability of a house, it would not affect price, providing it does not create too much noise once functioning.
The wind turbine is set to be fully operational by the end of next week, and is forecast to produce 5.9 million units of electricity each year for a proposed 25 years.