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Budweiser advert on Gwent Levels wind turbine will not be allowed

A plan to display a Budweiser advert at the top of a 150-metre-high wind turbine on the Gwent Levels near Newport has been thrown out by a planning inspector.

An appeal was lodged after Newport City Council rejected the proposed logo on a turbine which is to be built on a field off Rush Wall Lane near Redwick, to provide renewable energy for the Magor brewery.

The advert was proposed on both sides of the turbine’s hub, which is 82-metres high, with a width of 1.4 metres and height of 4.5 metres.

It was planned to read ‘Budweiser’ in white text on a red background.

But a planning inspector has ruled the advert would “introduce a prominent and eye-catching alien element into the landscape”.

Although the turbine itself will be “industrial in character”, the inspector said it is justified because of its renewable energy benefits.

“Such underlying policy justification does not apply to the display of advertisements on the turbine structure,” the inspector said.

“Moreover, in permitting the turbine the council considered it necessary to control the external colouration of the structure, requiring a light grey finish which will reduce its prominence in the landscape.

“The addition of the red and white Budweiser logo would noticeably increase the visual impact of the host structure and reduce the degree to which the turbine will assimilate with its surroundings.”

The appeal argued the advert would publicise the brewery’s commitment to combating climate change and the contribution of renewable energy schemes.

But the inspector said these arguments were not “sufficiently persuasive to outweigh the harm to local amenity”.

“Whilst the brewery owners’ commitment to supporting renewable energy initiatives is to be commended, and I recognise its importance as an employer in the area, there is no evidence that the permitted turbine project would not go ahead if consent for the advertisement display is withheld,” the inspector’s report added.

Redwick Community Council objected to the plan with concerns the advert would be “a distraction to drivers”.

The planning inspector said its location and design was “not such that it would attract the attention of drivers at a critical point or to such an extent as to pose a material threat to highway safety”.

However he said this did not diminish the main issue, that the proposed advert would “cause clear harm to amenity”.