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Caerwys turbines plan generates much anger and hostility  

Credit:  Owen Evans | The Leader | 10 December 2013 | www.leaderlive.co.uk ~~

Angry residents turned up in force at an exhibition to express their opposition to three huge wind turbines.

Dozens of people attended a public exhibition displaying plans for three 115m wind turbines on land between Lloc and Caerwys – which are set to be submitted to Flintshire Council for consideration early next year.

The proposal is to build on land close to Ffrith y Garreg-wen, which is between Lloc and Caerwys – near an area of outstanding natural beauty.

An exhibition was held at Caerwys Golf Club yesterday, with residents invited to hear more about the plans.

A number of householders spoke to the Leader to express their dismay at the plans, fearing they could have a detrimental impact on the area.

Resident Pat Simpson, 62, said: “I’m absolutely not in favour of it.

“The community offer is an insult.

“They said to me that the noise from the A55 – which is close to the site – will be not much different, but how can they say that when we’ll be able to hear both.

“They will definitely be in with a fight.”

If approved, the turbines would stand higher that the tallest building in Wales – The Tower in Meridian Quay, Swansea – which is 107m tall.

Resident Jane Swift, who lives in Lloc, also expressed her opposition to the application.

She said: “It’s supposed to be an area of outstanding natural beauty and we’re supposed to be encouraging tourists into Wales.”

Her husband, Tom, said: “People live near there and there will be a lot of noise.

“They were trying to compare it to car traffic noises but it’s completely different.”

The application follows one made earlier this year by Flintshire Wind Energy, a subsidiary of current applicants West Coast Energy, which wanted to erect a temporary 80 metre mast. The application was refused by Flintshire Council’s planning committee.

West Coast Energy said it had appealed to the planning inspectorate over the decision and is awaiting a decision.

The company wanted to use the land to house the ‘anemometer’ mast, which monitors wind speed and direction to assess suitability for wind farms.

It could have paved the way for a proposed wind farm if deemed suitable.

Ron Williams, chairman of the Flintshire Ramblers Association, said: “We’re concerned about the footpaths and the people going for a walk in the area.

“There are footpaths going through the site. The turbines are very big and they will definitely have an effect on it.

“We’re concerned about the impact on the view from the A55 as people travel along it.”

Despite residents’ concerns, Steve Salt, the company’s planning and public affairs director, said: “This event is an important because it’s extremely important to consult local people.

“It’s about making sure that people are aware what developments are proposed in the local community.

“We were dissapointed that the first application was refused but we have appealed and we are hopeful of a positive result.”

West Coast Energy says each turbine would generate enough renewable electricity to meet the annual domestic electricity consumption for about 3,200 homes.

West Coast Energy says that residents would receive an annual guaranteed payment of £5,000 for each megawatt of installed generation capacity, or 10 per cent of profits from the wind farm in a community benefit fund.

Mr Salt added: “Based upon a three-turbine development with an installed capacity of 6MW, it is estimated that there would be a community benefit fund of a minimum of £1m over the life of the wind farm allowing for inflation, with an expectation that this amount will be exceeded by the 10 per cent profit-sharing mechanism.

“West Coast Energy is committed to ensuring the economic and social benefits arising from its wind farms are spread as widely as possible through society and is working to ensure local communities benefit from, and have more of a stake in, hosting wind energy projects.”

Source:  Owen Evans | The Leader | 10 December 2013 | www.leaderlive.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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