July 25, 2012

Buffer zones for Anglesey wind turbines

DPW West | www.dailypost.co.uk 24 July 2012

Homes and tourist sites will be protected from giant wind turbines by 500 metre buffer zones under new stricter planning rules.

Controversial “monster” turbines have sparked outrage on Anglesey with applications to cover the island in dozens of windmills – some 119 metres high.

It has seen angry residents take to the streets to protest over fears they will wreck the scenery and damage the tourism industry that employs thousands of people on Anglesey.

Applications were halted while a review was carried out and now new supplementary planning guidance for turbines has been unveiled.

This proposes 500 metre exclusion zones around homes and tourism sites for all turbines over 20metres.

Large turbines will also be excluded from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Some campaigners have welcomed the proposals but others argue they do not go far enough and have vowed to carry on the fight.

Campaigner Mairede Thomas said: “It is clearly a better put together and considered document than the first draft, this is a huge relief.

“500 metres is not enough but is clearly an improvement on the original which had no buffer zone.

“We would like to see it improved again.

“We recommended a minimum of 500 metres but in addition asked for any turbine above micro-generation to also have a distance 10 times the height of the turbine on top of the 500 metres.”

Hanna Elin Hughes said there were applications near the village of Llanddona that should be halted by the guidance.

She added: “I just hope that they do enforce this though as the current applications are around 450 metres and 230 metres away from homes, which is disgusting.

“500 metres is still not far enough, other countries have buffer zones of 1,500metres.

“This is a start but really they should halt every application.”

Campaigner Glyn Davies said: “Has anyone any idea how huge a 400ft high turbine blade would look, even from 500m away? Let’s just say you still won’t see the sky for blades!”

Anglesey MP Albert Owen said: “This sounds like a compromise and is a useful step.

“Ideally I would like the council to say enough is enough and not to pass any more applications for the large on-shore turbines but I think 500metres is a good starting point.

“I agree with the view that these large on-shore would be destructive to tourism on Anglesey.”

Cllr Gareth Winston Roberts, who has acted as a planning agent for wind turbine applications, said: “For any turbines over 50metres I would support the 500metre buffer but for smaller turbines, say 25 metres, this is overkill.

“The makers recommend 250 metres for a 25metre turbine, I think 500 metres is going too far.”

The planning guidance will be debated at a meeting of the Environment and Technical Services Scrutiny committee this Thursday at 2pm.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/07/25/buffer-zones-for-anglesey-wind-turbines/