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Controversial turbine approved as appeal looms

Controversial plans for a wind turbine near Pencader have been approved, despite concerns from residents living nearby.

Planning permission for the 67-metre Wern turbine, as it is known locally, was granted by Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee in August.

However with one resident appealing for a judicial review into the initial approval, the developers behind the plan submitted a separate planning application for the same turbine, which was approved by councillors last week.

John Hubert, who lives nearby, will discover on Thursday if his appeal for a judicial review will be successful, however he admits that he does not know what difference it would make even if successful, due to the fact it has now been approved for a second time.

He said: “It is a crazy situation because they have got two applications for the same turbine in the same place.”

He added: “It has got to be resolved one way or another legally.”

Campaigners waited in the snow as councillors arrived at the site outside Pencader last week for a site visit, and residents’ concerns were expressed at Carmarthenshire County Hall in the meeting which followed.

Mr Hubert told councillors: “This Wern development is widely recognised as one of the most contentious and controversial in Carmarthenshire.”

He added: “The reasons for our objections are not those of NIMBYs or climate change deniers. We are all exceptionally environmentally aware.

“Among us, investments of perhaps £250,000 have been made in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.”

Residents living nearby have complained that the turbine will blot the landscape, create a disruptive noise and pose a danger to wildlife living nearby, including birds and bats.

There are concerns that the proposed delivery route for the turbine, which runs through Llandysul, will not be suitable for such a large structure.

There have also been concerns that the turbine could deter visitors who stay at nearby holiday cottages. The turbine will be built less than 500 metres from the nearby kennels and just 520 metres away from the nearest house.

Residents living near the site have received support in their campaign from other groups who have won their battles against turbines, such as the Mynydd Llansadwrn campaign group.