A wind turbine will be built at an Ebbw Vale industrial estate after developers overthrew Blaenau Gwent Council’s decision to refuse planning permission.
Blaenau Gwent Council initially refused to grant planning permission for a 500kW wind turbine at the former Tech Board site at Rassau Industrial Estate last year.
But developers decided to appeal against the decision, and the High Court ordered the Planning Inspectorate to appoint a new inspector to reconsider the application.
After visiting the site, in July this year the inspector granted planning permission.
The three-blade turbine, which will be 77 metres high at the tallest blade tip, will produce enough electricity to supply 430 homes per year.
It has a lifetime of around 20 years and will also supply electricity to the former Tech Board factory at a discounted rate.
Blaenau Gwent Council originally refused permission because of a “significant adverse impact on residential amenity” to residents in Rassau and Garnlydan, with some houses within 500 metres of the site.
The council also refused because of safety, suggesting the turbine is sited within “topple distance” of the factory building next door.
But the new inspector, Vicki Hirst, concluded the safety risks were “very low” and decided the turbine “would be a part of the industrial landscape rather than defining features”.
She looked at photographs from local residents highlighting their concerns as well as considering the objections.
Ms Hirst said: “I have found above that views of the turbine from the surroundings would appear as one additional man made feature within an area characterised by industrial buildings and urban features.”
In her report she added: “On the evidence before me there is no dispute that the proposal would make a significant contribution to renewable energy in line with national and local policy.
“It is also accepted that a primary employment site within the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone would be an appropriate location for such a development in principle.”
Planning permission has been given with conditions, but a review will need to be taken within 25 years.
On September 3, the report will be submitted to Blaenau Gwent Council’s planning committee.
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