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Wind turbine bid sparks concerns from councillors

Whitland councillors have raised their concerns about plans for a 252ft high wind turbine less than a mile from the town.

The application to build a 77 metre high turbine capable of generating 500 kilowatts of electricity at Drefach Farm, Henllan Amgoed, has been submitted by Gethin Gibbin through agent Jason Evans, of J Evans Planning Ltd.

It is planned to site the turbine on a hill 400ft above sea level, 1.5 kilometres northwest of the town for 25 years.

Speaking at the April meeting of Whitland Town Council, members agreed they would object to the application.

Deputy mayor Margaret Keen said: “I went and saw the plans, it will be straight on top of a hill and it will be seen for miles.”

Mayor Vivienne Morris said: “What I have learned from experience is we actually live in a democracy.

“Part of the democratic process with planning is if you object to something the planning department is then duty bound to look into that objection.

“I feel we do have grounds to put in an objection, if that proves unfounded it will be left.

“We can object on the grounds of visual impact for the people of North Road and there’s been no public consultation by the developer.

“If they find any of these issues are unfounded there’s nothing lost, we will have done our bit to protect the people of North road.

“I am proposing we do put an objection in on these grounds.

“I don’t want to let the people of North Road down.”

Mrs Morris pointed out the town council had previously objected to an application by local man Nigel Short to build two 344ft turbines in a field at Hazelwell, Ciffig, on high ground the other side of Whitland.

“We’ve objected to one and should object to the other,” she said.

“I’m all for renewable energy, that’s the first thing I said to Nigel Short,” she added.

“In Whitland you are 25 metres above sea level but you’ve got hills up to 400 feet, that may not be an issue but nobody is offering Whitland town any benefits.”

She warned that a cluster of other turbines by other developers was being proposed in the nearby Templeton area.

“As soon as one starts to appear overlooking Whitland we will have loads of them.”

Councillor Neil Jenkins sounded a note of caution.

“We’ve got to think of different ways of getting energy, it’s an open verdict for myself.”

Members agreed to the proposed objection.

A public meeting was held at the town hall several days later, chaired by David King, of Henllanfallteg community council.

Concerns were raised by local residents about the potential impact of the proposed turbine on their homes.

Those present heard that Mr Gibbin was unable to attend.

However, a report by Dulas Energy Ltd on behalf of Mr Gibbin said the turbine – if granted – would help his farm to diversify.

The application for the turbine will be considered by county planners at a later date.