A decision on a pair of wind turbines the same height as the Statue of Liberty which could appear at a Dee Valley beauty spot if they are given the go ahead has been deferred.
There has been a mass of objections to the two 50kw structures being built at land in Llandrillo with a staggering 80 residents submitting their concerns to Denbighshire County Council.
The location is immediately adjacent to the proposed Mynydd Mynyllod wind farm, where Scottish Power hopes to build 25 turbines, and there are fears if this application is approved it will set a precedent for that plan to be given the go ahead.
“The visual impact of these turbines on that unspoilt area of the Upper Dee Valley would be immense,” said Karen Roden, from STEMM (Stop the Exploitation of Mynydd Mynyllod).
“This could well provide a toehold for other wind turbine applications, as has happened in other parts of the country.
“The turbines would be the tallest structures, towering over Llandrillo’s historic church, which is 32m (105ft).”
If approved, there would be two turbines built on agricultural land at livestock farm Syrior, Llandrillo, of 46.3 metres, roughly the same height as the iconic Statue of Liberty statue, which is 46.5 metres (151ft) high and together with the pedestal reaches a height of 93 metres (305ft).
Planning officers have recommended the application be refused but councillors could still give it the green light when they cast their votes. The decision was due to be made today but was deferred.
“I am hoping that members of the planning committee will see the strength of local opposition against these turbines and reject the application, as to do otherwise could condemn this area to many more wind turbine applications,” said Karen ahead of the meeting.
Llandrillo councillor Cefyn Williams told the Free Press he would be asking the committee to defer the decision because the applicants, both named Mr Jones, didn’t feel they had been given enough time to prepare.
The Countryside Council for Wales have raised concerns the turbines “will generate adverse visual impacts” so close to designated Areas of Outstanding National Beauty including the Snowdonia National Park, Dee Valley and Clwydian Range.
The Snowdonia National Park Authority also objected to the application, urging the cumulative impact of the turbines with the existing Braich Ddu and proposed Mynydd Mynyllod to be considered because “the visual impact of turbines of different sizes and design would be inharmonious and visually confusing”.
Mike Skuse from the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) added that there was a “real danger of a countryside cluttered with wind turbines of all shapes and sizes”.
But the report discussed at today’s meeting states: “Whilst this proposal would be immediately adjacent to the Mynydd Mynyllod windfarm site, it is important to stress the need to assess each planning application on its own merits and without prejudice”.
There were six responses from residents submitted in favour of the plans with comments including feelings that turbines provide a safer form of energy than nuclear power and that they offer a chance for farmers to diversify in difficult economic times.
80 comments were received by the council from people against the application with concerns including a negative impact on tourism, traffic during construction and noise and visual pollution.
The report by planning officers concludes: “The harmful landscape impacts are considered to significantly outweigh the benefits of increased renewable energy generation.”
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