Controversial giant on-shore wind turbines face “stringent” new criteria before even being considered by Anglesey planners.
Applications for “monster” turbines – some towering as high as 115 metres – have surged over the past 18 months, causing huge concern they will blot the island’s landscape and damage tourism.
New Supplementary Planning guidelines (SPG) are being compiled on the island, and in Gwynedd, to control the size and placement of turbines.
Now in addition to that a list of criteria has been drawn up that means developers have to supply a wealth of information on the likely impact on the surrounding area when they apply.
This includes visual impacts for homes within 2km of the planned site, noise studies, and photomontages on how they will fit into the landscape.
One of the new criteria states: “The individual or cumulative effect of turbines in the countryside shall be assessed so as not to create unacceptable visual or landscape impacts.”
This will be seen as good news for opponents of the turbines who have argued that the impact of so many applications in scenic parts of the island will damage the landscape.
A source at the council said the time and money needed to compile the information will put off “speculative” applications.
Paul Williams, who has campaigned with Anglesey Against Wind Turbines, said: “This is a step in the right direction with a need for developers to provide this information when they make the application. The guidelines are more stringent and this will hopefully stop developers making speculative applications around the island for the large wind turbines.
“They will now need to provide more details on the likely impact of a turbine on the surrounding area, which is what we have been calling for.
“The council did the right thing in suspending applications until this checklist was in place. My advice to developers would now be to hold off until the SPG has now been completed rather than rushing ahead with applications.”
The new document has been produced by the county council’s planning service in partnership with the Gwynedd and Anglesey joint planning policy unit.
It will be used to help validate the growing number of onshore wind turbine applications currently being received by the planning service.
In February, Anglesey’s planning committee delayed decisions on existing wind turbine applications. There are currently 28 undetermined planning applications for on-shore wind turbines on Anglesey. They will now be reviewed in line with a new check-list.
Chairman of the planning committee Cllr Arwel Roberts said: “Due to the high number of planning applications for onshore wind turbines received by the Authority, it’s important that our planning officers are able to deal with these applications robustly.”
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