Welsh Government to have final say on Pope Hill turbines

2:01pm Wednesday 27th November 2013

Pembrokeshire's planning committee met to discuss an application for two wind turbines near Johnston on Tuesday, despite having no influence over the final outcome.

The final decision over plans to erect two turbines, measuring 86.5m high, on Pope Hill rests with the Welsh Government as the application is subject of an appeal over non-determination.

Had the committee retained jurisdiction, the plan would have been recommended for refusal on the grounds that the turbines’ size and location would have a significant adverse impact on the character and visual amenity of the area, including the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

It is also claimed the proposal would have a detrimental impact on the setting of nearby listed buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Should the appeal be successful, the 800kW turbines would be located on a narrow strip of land at Lawrence Landfill. They would have the ability to generate up to 1.6MW of electricity per year and be capable of powering 868 homes.

The scheme has attracted 20 letters and emails of support, together with a petition in support signed by 83 people.

There were 25 letters and emails of objections, plus 36 post cards against the development.

Among the objectors to the scheme are Natural Resources Wales, which claims it would have a potential adverse impact on biodiversity and European protected species.

Dr Conrad Trevelyan addressed the committee on behalf of the applicant Wind Energy Direct. He said: “This is a well-designed, fairly modest proposal and its potential benefits should not be forgotten.

“Although the turbines would be located in open countryside, there is already a busy road, landfill site and quarry nearby.”

Carys Vaughan from Hayston Developments and Planning Ltd spoke on behalf of Rebecca Phillips who lives near the proposed site. She said: “There is a time and place for wind turbines.

“The turbines would be visible from all four corners of Pembrokeshire and would adversely impact on the character of the area.”

Members of the committee were unanimous in backing the recommendation for refusal.

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