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Plans for giant Flintshire wind turbine thrown out over safety to Beluga aircraft

Highly controversial plans for a wind turbine “twice the height of Chester Cathedral” have been thrown out.

Flintshire Council has refused proposals lodged by Nant y Ffrith Wind Energy Ltd to build a 77-metre wind turbine at Mount Farm in Ffrith.

The refusal came after serious concerns were raised that the proposals would compromise flight safety and safe aircraft operations to and from Hawarden Airport.

During the meeting, a resident acting on behalf of those living nearby and who was referred to only as Mr Hughes, said: “The proposal will readily increase instances of clinical depression and sleep loss due to flicker and shadow.

“It is directly over the flight path of the Beluga [aircraft] and we are extremely concerned about this, particularly with the heavy amount of fog we get in this area.

“It is twice the height of Chester Cathedral.”

He also expressed concerns with regards to the 55 letters of support which were received in relation to the application.

He said: “These letters can be traced back to employees and their families and none of them are local.”

Despite the assertion of an agent acting on behalf of the company that the issues with regards the impact on aircraft were not wholly shared by the Civil Aviation Authority, members refused the application.

Cllr Chris Bithell said: “The clincher with this application is the objection from Airbus and Hawarden Airport.

“For this reason we have got to refuse the application.”

Ahead of the meeting, Andrew Farrow, Flintshire Council’s chief officer for planning and environment, said: “It is acknowledged current national and local planning guidance encourages the use of renewable energy technologies.

“However, the need to meet the wider environmental, social and economic benefits and opportunities for renewable energy does not outweigh the harm caused to flight safety and safe aircraft operations to and from Hawarden aerodrome and therefore the application should be refused.”

Serious concerns had been lodged by local councillor Hilary Isherwood, and also Llanfynydd Community Council, who stated the proposals would cause noise pollution, impact on the red kite population and set a precedent for the area.

Objections were also lodged by the Joint Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Advisory Committee, who stated it would undermine the setting of the AONB.

Wrexham Council and Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami also objected to the proposals.