Proposed Wind Turbine at Llanwnnen
13 against this development and 2 abstentions.
Despite this resounding refusal by our local councillors, the developers have now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate (PI) in Cardiff, in an effort to get their carefully considered decision overturned.
We all need to write letters, please, to the PI by March 2nd 2016 - please see below for further information on how to do this.
The following are some notes to help with your letter regarding the Ffrwd appeal. The notes are NOT intended to be a standardized letter. Please feel free to cut and paste/change order. Your letter doesn’t have to be long. You could just say that you support the council’s decision and then make a brief comment of your own. As always, a letter/comment from each person at your address is best.
You can comment online here: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/
Or by writing to the Inspectorate in triplicate at this address: Planning Inspectorate, Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff. CF1 3NQ.
Whichever method you use, you must quote the following reference number and address.
Ffrwd, Llanwnnen, Lampeter.
BACKGROUND TO THE REFUSAL
* Ceredigion County Council refused the original application A140754 for the following reasons:
1. The turbine will have a significant adverse impact on the local landscape, dominating the villages of Cribyn, Llanwnnen and Blaencwrt The turbine will be seen as an incongruous alien and industrial feature within a pastoral landscape contrary to Policies LU25, DMDM17, DM18, and DM19 of the Ceredigion Local Development Plan.
2. The turbine will also be clearly visible from the setting of the Listed Church at Llanwnnen On this basis the proposals are considered contrary to the guidance contained within Circular 61/96: Planning and the Historic Environment, Section 66 of the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act 1990, and Policies LU25, DM10, DM17, DM18, and DM19 of the Ceredigion Local Development Plan.
*160+ letters of objection were submitted to CCC; two out of three community councils objected; Euros Davies, local councilor, strongly objected and spoke against the proposal at committee; the planning officer in her professional and expert opinion recommended refusal; the SIP (Site Inspection Panel) recommended refusal and at committee 13 councillors voted against with two abstentions; no councilor spoke or voted in favour. Local democracy has clearly and loudly spoken and used local and national policies to support its decisions.
*Natural Resources Wales has said: “the turbine would be at variance with the character and landscape elements as it would be readily apparent and at variance with lots of the existing views from several main settlements and surrounding public rights of way. It is our opinion that this location is not suited for a turbine of this scale.”
*The Planning officer commented that the impact on local landscape will be significant and that the turbine would affect a very significant number of people appearing as an alien and intrusive form within the landscape, changing the character of the countryside as a result.
*The turbine would be sited on a high ridge, it would be an isolated industrial feature in a rural landscape. This prominent moving structure would dominate the local area. There are no other manmade structures of this significance on the hillside and the turbine would appear jarringly out of scale.
*It is quite remarkable that in their grounds of appeal, the developers dismiss this aspect of the project’s refusal as being “completely inappropriate”.
*The applicant is also highly dismissive of the council’s second reason for refusal. Not only would the view of the church be impacted upon but there are other listed buildings in the immediate area such as Pont Abercerdinen, Rhiwson Isaf, Castell Du, Llanwnnen Post Office etc. that would also be affected. The historical heritage of the area must be protected.
*Dyfed Archaeology has pointed to the potential for archaeological deposits to exist on the site and that features “will clearly be adversely affected by the proposed development.
*Ancient monuments, for example Gaer Fach, Gaer Maesmynach, Cribyn Clottas and Llanwnnen Ring Motte would also be impacted upon.
COMMUNITY’ OWNERSHIP/’COMMUNITY BENEFIT
*The project did not spring from the community, it has not been led by the community, there was no early engagement with the community.
*If the landowners and the developers were so keen to involve the community why was there an attempt to hamper access to the council’s site visit for local residents representing the communities’ concerns?
*The landowners and developers have imposed the project on the community. Seren Energy Ltd (perhaps prompted by the fact that the planners might look more favourably on a 'Community Owned' project) initially passed ownership of the scheme to Awel Deg, who then became Ceredigion Community Energy and finally morphed into Cribyn Community Energy. At no stage were these groups made up of local people, and the project cannot be said to have been driven by the community in any way. In fact, there was no effort made by the group(s) to even engage with the community. Where, then, was the local involvement? What expertise does this group have?
*Originally Llanwnnen and Cribyn were to benefit financially but now Lampeter is included. Given the massive reduction in FiT payments and the curtailment imposed by NRW, it is now more than likely that investment will have to come from much further afield, a point even acknowledged by Ceredigion Community Energy when they say the share offer will be extended to “the whole of Wales and if necessary the rest of the UK.” Is this local?
*Seren has never shown a breakdown of costs, they have never provided a worse case scenario despite being repeatedly asked to do so by the case officer. Why?
*Seren’s financial model operates with the turbine working at 41% efficiency. This is a ridiculously inflated figure. The average yield for UK on shore wind last year a mere 25%. At anything below 41%, the figures simply do not stack up as has been previously shown and as councilors were aware. There will be no community benefit. The project is not viable.
*The so-called community aspect of the project has been a ruse to gain consent.
*There are an increasing number of WTs in the area, this is contributing to a chaotic and discordant view of the landscape, especially when taking into account the impact of the WTs in Carmarthenshire, a mere 2km away! Given the recommendation for consent of two 120m+ WTs just outside Llanybydder at Pencarreg and the Talgarreg appeal, there is a significant danger that we reach a situation where WTs are spread across the county and its neighbouring areas.
*The initial red kite and bat surveys were woefully inadequate. Rare noctule bats are on site and as European Protected Species they have to be protected. Given the new Environment Bill passed at the beginning of February 2016, it more important than ever to uphold policy DM14 which requires all developments protect and enhance biodiversity.