April 17, 2018

Giant wind turbine near Pen-y-Fan pond sparks strong objection

South Wales Argus | 16th April | www.southwalesargus.co.uk

An application to build a wind turbine more than 100m high near the Pen-y-Fan Country Park has been met with strong objection.

Thirty-five letters against the proposal to build the turbine, with a maximum tip height of 113m, at the Durisol UK facility on the Pen-y-fan industrial estate were received by Caerphilly County Borough Council’s planning authority.

Rhianon Passmore, the Islwyn AM, also submitted an objection letter and a petition with 94 signatures outlined residents’ concerns to the plans from the Leeds-based firm Sirius Renewable Energy.

“The proposed wind turbine would have a rated output capacity of up to two megawatts (MW),” stated the planning report, which is equivalent to providing power to around 400 homes.

“Based on the submitted example turbine type, it would have a maximum overall tip height of 113m, hub height of 78m, and rotor diameter of 66m.

“The associated infrastructure includes an external transformer kiosk building, a substation kiosk building, underground cabling and crane pad.”

The report added that, in total, the proposed development would measure approximately 310 square metres.

Among the concerns of the residents were the “proposal represents exceedance to visual saturation of skyline” and a “detrimental impact on views from Pen-y-Fan Country Park”.

Those living near the proposed site were worried of the “danger that the sustainable energy argument overrides all other material planning considerations”.

The planning authority’s report stated that although there was a need for renewable energy sources nationally, it did not outweigh the effect on amenities and properties surrounding the area of development.

“These issues will be considered in turn below against the backdrop of the need to produce renewable energy in line with national targets,” stated the report.

“Whilst the need to provide renewable energy in accordance with national targets is a material planning consideration, in this instance, that need is not considered to outweigh the detrimental impact on the visual amenity of nearby residential properties.”

However, the planning report found that since there were already of a number of turbines in the area, that part of the application would not warrant a refusal from the planning committee.

Caerphilly council’s landscape architect raised concerns that due to the height of the proposed turbine, it would be more noticeable to residents of Pentwyn and Trinant due to its more significant size and their proximity to the development.

The overall height of the turbine was a stumbling block for the authority.

“By virtue of its proposed siting and overall height/rotor diameter, the proposed wind turbine would result in a majorly adverse impact on the nearby residential properties that have direct views of it, and a moderately adverse impact on the area surrounding these properties,” stated the report.

The council’s planning authority will review the proposal, which is recommended for refusal, on Wednesday, April 18 at 5pm.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2018/04/17/giant-wind-turbine-near-pen-y-fan-pond-sparks-strong-objection/