City planning officers have thrown out a bid for a 252ft wind turbine that would have overlooked Swansea Bay.
They said the turbine would have had a significant adverse effect on the landscape and seascape, and was an “unacceptable visual intrusion” upon the city’s waterfront area.
Dorset-based Infinergy submitted the application for Queen’s Dock on behalf of port owners Associated British Ports (APB) in February. It said the turbine would have generated a significant chunk of electricity required to power the city port.
The company had initially proposed a 334ft turbine, just 17ft shy of Swansea Marina’s Meridian Tower.
Infinergy described Swansea docks as an “active, working landscape” – home to warehouses, cement business and a mussel farm, among other things.
It argued that the scale, design and layout of the 252ft turbine were appropriate to the area’s landscape character, and that consultation had taken place with residents in addition to an exhibition.
But planning officers said the impact of the turbine would hamper both the county’s wider regeneration proposals for the area and its “vision to make Swansea a vibrant, attractive and distinctive 21st Century waterfront city”.
Last autumn the council rejected Welsh Water plans for a 260ft wind turbine at its Fabian Way treatment works, near the docks.
ABP, meanwhile, is involved in the ongoing examination of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon application, while the docks are already home to a 140ft turbine, which has been in place since 2006. Proceeds raised from the operation of this turbine funded a fridge-freezer replacement scheme in St Thomas last year, said ward councillor Clive Lloyd.
He reckoned up to 100 people benefited from this project.
He said: “We fully support renewable energy, but I think the issue with this particular (252ft) turbine was the overbearing nature – the size and scale of it.”
A spokeswoman for Infinergy said APB was considering an appeal.
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