July 26, 2012

New fears over impact of Denbighshire wind farm construction

Published by: Helen Davies | The Free Press | www.denbighshirefreepress.co.uk 25 July 2012

Fears have been raised about the impact construction traffic from a proposed wind farm could have on Denbighshire’s towns.

Dozens of vehicles travelling to and from a new windfarm in the Clocaenog Forest could go through the centres of Ruthin, Denbigh, St Asaph, Llangollen and Corwen every day.

A planning application to build a new windfarm in the forest is expected to be submitted later this year and Denbighshire County Council have been asking town and community councils for their views.

In Ruthin an extra 40 vehicles per day are predicted to drive along the A494 (Mwrog Street and Lon Fawr) if the windfarm gets the go-ahead.

“It’s an increase of 4.9 per cent,” councillor Sionedd Foulkes told a meeting of Ruthin Town Council.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot but if they are all HGVs driving up Mwrog Street and other roads, I think that would be a problem.”

Ruthin Cllr Simeon Jones said residents on the road should be informed about the predicted impact.

“This could create quite a problem bottleneck,” he said. “Lon Fawr gets progressively narrower as it gets to the A494

“If I lived on Mwrog Street it would be unacceptable.”

Concerns were also raised that construction drivers may try to find shortcuts through other residential roads in the town.

“There’s always going to be a cowboy who’s going to try to find the quickest and most direct road,” said Cllr Robert Owen-Ellis.

The town council resolved to write to Denbighshire County Council expressing their fears and asking how they would make sure drivers stuck to the designated routes.

Figures from RWE npower renewables, who are behind the plans, show month eight of construction is expected to generate the most traffic, with estimates of an extra 40 vehicles a day on the A494, A543, A544 and A5.

An extra 103 vehicles are predicted on the A55, A525 and B4501.

Denbigh councillor Colin Hughes said: “When we have an acknowledged problem at Lenten Pool, how are we to justify another 40 plus HGVs which may well cause problems at this bottleneck?”

The proposal is for a 32 turbine windfarm and associated infrastructure in the Clocaenog Forest.

A spokesman for RWE npower renewables said the predicted increase in traffic flow was “significantly lower” than the amount regulators class as a “significant impact”.

He said: “We completely understand the council has questions over traffic and consulted with the county council last summer to understand and address these.

“But let’s not forget that a construction project of the scale of Clocaenog Forest could also potentially unlock significant economic benefits for rural areas like Ruthin.

“We have already pledged to deliver a community benefit package worth at least £12 million over the lifetime of the project into the local area, and expect to consult further on this over time.”

“During the construction process, we fully would expect to engage strongly with local suppliers, where they have the skills, which will help maintain a smaller carbon footprint for the project and keep investment local.

“Finally, an influx in new workers to the area would no doubt bring rises both in local spend, and in the use of support services, like hotels.”

A report by RWE npower renewables says: “The normal working day will be 7am to 7pm on weekdays and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/07/26/new-fears-over-impact-of-denbighshire-wind-farm-construction/