Controversial proposals for two 86.5 metre wind turbines near Ludchurch were approved by county council planners yesterday (Tuesday), amid jeers from the public gallery.
The plans submitted by Princes Gate Spring Water Company had received opposition from campaigners such as the Campaign for the Protection for Rural Wales, while Pembrokeshire County Council had received 279 letters of support for the application and 190 against.
Speaking on behalf of the applicants, Endaf Williams told the planning committee that the turbines would help with the company’s increased energy demand due to the installation of a new bottling plant and approving the plans would help to “safeguard existing and future jobs.”
Speaking as on objector Conrad Rees suggested the committee should defer the application and conduct a site visit and asked if it was fair that the company could “make profit at the expense of the landscape.”
Mr Rees said the officer’s report was “not fit for purpose” and highlighted health and safety concerns regarding a nearby equestrian business, adding that horses react unpredictably to turbines.
County Councillor Tony Brinsden, who represents nearby Amroth, said he had received many objections from his constituents and said he was “totally mystified” that the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority had not objected.
Cllr David Pugh said the council was in danger of “putting the lives of children and riders at risk”, if the plans were approved and said the visual impact would be “huge.”
Cllr Brian Hall said he refuted claims that the officer’s report was biased in any way and said the if the plans were refused, the council could face an appeal, which could include financial penalties.
The Dyfed Archaeological Trust had objected to the plans but said if the committee was minded to pass it, that a condition be imposed that archaeological interests be protected during any works to install the turbines.
Cllr Pugh proposed a site visit, but was voted down by seven votes to five. The application was approved after being moved by Cllr Hall and seconded by Cllr Peter Morgan and carried by eight votes to five with one abstention.
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