A residents’ action group has pledged to fight the latest plans for a wind turbine in the Vale of Glamorgan countryside amid concerns that the area is being targeted by renewable energy companies.
Plans by Buckinghamshire-based g2 Energy Renewal Developments Ltd involves building a 77-metre high wind turbine with a blade span of 54 metres on land at St Mary Hill, in the Vale countryside.
It has sparked an opposition campaign by Llangan Action whose members say it would ruin the area’s character of the area.
The scheme is one of several current wind turbine and solar farm planning applications centred on the Vale of Glamorgan and Barry. It is understood that many more could be in the pipeline.
Recent opposition to a scheme to build a solar farm at Treguff Farm, near Cowbridge, was refused planning permission last month following a storm of local opposition. However, the matter is likely to go to a public inquiry.
Plans have also been submitted for a wind turbine on land at Biglis Farm, Barry, and for a solar farm on land at Weycock Cross, on the outskirts of the town.
Councillor Fred Johnson, chairman of the Vale council’s planning committee, said: “We are expecting to see a lot more of this kind of planning application. I suppose you could say that the Vale is being targeted by these companies.
“The area is attractive to these developers because it is south facing and close to the coast. Cornwall is saturated with solar panels and now attention is being turned to the Vale for both solar farm and wind turbine developments.”
He said it was not possible for the Vale council to draw up its own planning guidelines for such developments because it was the Welsh Government’s responsibility.
Coun Johnson pointed out that in the majority of cases where public inquiries have been held into such development in Cornwall they had been approved.
The Welsh Government’s advice on renewable energy developments appears to favour approval, unless significant damage would be caused. In its planning guidance, the Welsh Government says: “Local planning authorities should facilitate the development of all forms of renewable and low carbon energy to move towards a low carbon economy to help to tackle the causes of climate change. Specifically, they should make positive provision by considering the contribution that their area can make towards developing and facilitating renewable and low carbon energy, and ensuring that development plan policies enable this contribution to be delivered.”
Councillor Maureen Kelly Owen said wind turbine and solar panel development could irrevocably alter the character of the rural Vale.
She said: “The Vale is in a fragile state and under constant threat. If we do not handle carefully what we have got, we will be criticised by our children and grandchildren.“We have a duty of care,” she added
Llangan Action has urged residents to make official representations to the Vale council opposing the St Mary Hill wind turbine proposal.
A standard letter produced by the group says: “I believe the proposed turbine is much too large and will have a negative visual impact which is entirely disproportionate to the relatively small amount of electricity it will generate.
“The damage to the landscape and the views cannot be justified.”
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