Controversial plans to build a wind turbine near the Pen-y-Fan Country Park in Caerphilly are set to go before the council’s planning committee.
The application seeks permission to erect a turbine with a maximum height of 93 metres, hub height of 60 metres and rotor diameter of 66m on the industrial unit operated by Durisol UK on Pen-y-fan industrial estate near Crumlin.
But the application from the Leeds-based firm Sirius Renewable Energy has caused controversy, with concerns raised over its visual impact, noise issues and shadow flicker.
Two petitions were set up opposing the plans, signed by 128 residents in total, while 37 letters of objection were also were also lodged, with Islwyn AM Rhianon Passmore amongst the objectors.
A letter of support was submitted from the neighbouring factory owner who spoke of the need to reduce reliance on burning fossil fuels though.
A council report prepared ahead of next week’s meeting says many of the concerns raised have since been addressed in the revised application.
It says: “The main issues in this application are considered to be the effects of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the landscape and its consequences in these terms for impact on residential visual amenity, the effects on the adjacent Pen y Fan Pond Country Park, the effects on nature conservation interests, the effects on the amenity of properties in terms of noise and shadow flicker, and the effect on the highway network.
“These issues will be considered in turn below against the backdrop of the need to produce renewable energy in line with national targets.”
The application was originally due to go before the council’s planning committee in April with a recommendation for refusal.
However, a miscommunication over a site visit between Caerphilly council’s planning team and the applicant meant the application was not heard.
Amended plans were submitted reducing the height of the proposed turbine from 113 metres to 93 metres.
And the plans have now been recommended for approval.
Under the plans the development would include an external transformer kiosk building, a substation kiosk building, underground cabling and crane pad over a 310 square metre site.
The proposed wind turbine would have a rated output assumed capacity of up to 1.75 MW.
Previously concerns were raised over the impact of the development on views from Pen-y-Fan Country Park and the area.
But in a report prepared ahead of the planning committee meeting, Caerphilly council’s landscape architect says: “It is apparent that my concerns related to the unacceptable adverse visual impact that the previously proposed 113m height turbine had on the sensitive visual receptors will be reduced as a result of the amended turbine height.
“As a result the proposed turbine should appear less dominant and the overbearing visual nature will be reduced by the lower turbine height.”
The architect adds that although some localised significant visual impact may still be experienced, these will generally be limited.
The application is due to go before the planning committee next Wednesday, August 15.
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