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Plans for three 413-foot high wind turbines which would have “desecrated” the setting of a nearby south Pembrokeshire conservation area have been turned down.
The Rhoscrowther Wind Farm Limited application for a three 4.3MW-turbine wind farm on land near Valero, to the east of Rhoscrowther was refused by The Welsh Government by Minister for Climate Change Julie James.
It was said to have the potential to generate enough energy to power around 9,450 homes a year for some 35 years.
Last year, The Welsh Government Planning Inspectorate accepted the latest application – one of many going back many years – and received representations, before making a determination on the proposal.
Julie James has now followed the inspector’s recommendation and refused planning permission for the Angle Peninsula scheme on a number of criteria including visual impact.
Chair of Pembrokeshire Branch of rural campaign group CPRW, Mary Sinclair, reacted with relief at the Minister’s decision: “This must surely now be the end of developers’ misplaced attempts to industrialise this cherished landscape, and to desecrate the setting of the Angle Conservation Area, whose inhabitants can now look forward to freedom from such schemes.”
She said the Minister’s decision “justifies CPRW’s persistent argument that wind turbines are out of character with the landscape and visual qualities within and adjacent to this narrow National Park – which needs – and has – the highest level of protection”.
Mrs Sinclair added: “Nevertheless, we support the development of far-offshore wind resources in the Celtic Sea as a more realistic way to address the impacts of Climate Change – it is now high time that developers transferred their efforts to this purpose.”
The Rhoscrowther site generally has a long history of unsuccessful windfarm applications and appeals.
The Pembrokeshire branch of CPRW has catalogued a 25-year sequence of 15 various proposals, appeals and decisions on or near the site, every one of which ultimately resulted in refusal of consent.
The latest Rhoscrowther application was turned down on a number of points including substantial harm to the local landscape character and visual amenity, and it would cause substantial harm to the setting and significance of the nearby Grade I listed church of St Decumanus, amongst other notable local buildings.
Following an online hearing under the new procedure by Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) the Inspector’s Report also agreed with CPRW that industrial scale of the turbines could not be justified in this location because of the nearby oil refinery.
Rhoscrowther Wind Farm Limited has been contacted for a statement.
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