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Committee to decide on wind turbine plan – again!

Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee will once again decide on plans for a 147ft wind turbine across the estuary from Dylan Thomas’s Boathouse.

The council has confirmed it will not appeal last month’s High Court decision, which also awarded costs of £21,275 to campaigners.

However, it says the planning application for Mwche Farm, Llanybri, “remains undetermined” and will once again go before planners – probably in April.

Last June the planning committee voted in favour of the development, going against the advice of the National Trust and a senior officer at Carmarthenshire Council who said it would ruin the “iconic view”.

Fans of the poet fought the decision to have a turbine built facing the writing shed where he crafted some of his most famous poems.

Among their concerns was that planners declined to go on a site visit to Laugharne having been assured by council chairman Daf Davies that the turbine site was not visible from the Boathouse.

The council told the judicial review the turbine, 2km away from the writing shed, would be painted “off white” to blend in with the sky.

Impact

But Judge Andrew Gilbart QC told the hearing it was “impossible” to suggest it would not cause a significant impact on the landscape and found in favour of the campaigners.

Carmarthenshire Council senior solicitor Steve Murphy said: “We are not going to appeal the decision and we are complying with the court order to pay costs.”

Head of planning Eifion Bowen added: “The application remains undetermined and will shortly be re-presented to the planning committee for consideration.”

Adrienne Copithorne, of law firm Richard Buxton, who represented campaigners at the High Court, said: “It is open to the applicant to resubmit the application for the committee’s consideration. However, the council will have to ensure they deal with it in a lawful manner and address the deficiencies identified by Judge Gilbart in his judgment on the previous application.

“Whether the committee ultimately resolves to grant planning permission is a somewhat separate issue – one would think they would be wise to follow the officers’ strong advice that the turbine would be exceedingly detrimental to the cultural heritage and historic landscape of the estuary.”