Fresh Chance to Object to AONB Wind Turbine.

In an unexpected move, Denbighshire’s Head of Planning has decided that the Planning Committee should review its decision to give the go ahead to a 46.3m high (over 150ft) wind turbine WITHIN the Clwydian Range AONB at Marian Mawr, Cwm, near Dyserth.  The meeting in which the application will again be considered is on Wednesday, May 15, in Denbighshire’s Council offices in Ruthin, starting at 9.30 a.m.
With this in mind, there is now the opportunity to write to or email the Council to object to this proposal.  It could be, for example, that you are appalled by the precedent being set here, and that AONBs should be exempt from any sort of wind turbine development. There are plenty of other reasons to object.  Letters should be in by May 12, which does not give us long.
The applicants are E.O. Morris & Son, farmers.  The scheme is in the Tremeirchion ward, the local member being Cllr. Barbara Smith, who spoke in support of the application, which was voted through by a rather shocking 22-2.
It is a major concern that even the AONB, which has the same protected status as the Snowdonia National Park, could now be desecrated by wind turbines if this application is voted through again.  It is also worth pointing out that the site would be only 700 m from the historic Offa’s Dyke National Trail.
In making their initial decision these councillors ignored not only the advice of their experienced and highly qualified Officers, but also the recommendations of the Landscape Consultant, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Joint Advisory Committee for AONBs, which warned that if this wind turbine went ahead it would ‘undermine the status’ of these designated areas. In addition, their decision is in conflict with their own Unitary Development Plan policies.
We have been given a second chance to have this wind turbine rejected.  We need to make the most of it.  If we fail, and they grant it again, it could mean that many other areas within the AONB, which stretches from Llangollen, through Ruthin and Moel Fammau, continuing along the Clwydian Range towards Prestatyn, could be opened up for this form of development.
If you need ideas of what to say when objecting, this DCC website link contains the full details of the application. http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en-gb/DNAP-8B9LGE
Here are the details:
Application No.   47/2013/0137
Installation of a 50kw micro generation wind turbine with control box and access track Marian Mawr, Cwm, Rhyl.
Letters to:
Denbighshire County Council
Planning and Public Protection
Caledfryn
Smithfield Rd
Denbigh LL16 3RJ

You can also email your objection through on this link, but please be sure to give the application number as shown above.  planning@denbighshire.gov.uk

A number of opponents will be attending the meeting and, if you would like to come along, but need a lift, then please don’t hesitate to contact us by messaging this page.  Spaces in the chamber are limited, but more seats can be provided if we have an idea of numbers in advance.

Councillors Approve Turbine WITHIN The AONB!

Now even our highly protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is no longer safe from the threat of wind turbines, thanks to members of Denbighshire’s Planning Committee.

At this week’s meeting they voted 22-2 to give the go ahead to a plan to erect a 46.3m (over 150ft) wind turbine at Marian Mawr, Cwm, which is within the Clwydian Range AONB.  This wind turbine, which, ironically, was rejected last year as being a threat to this sensitive area, would be only 700m away from the Offa’s Dyke National Trail.

Once again, when presented with a wind turbine for ‘farm diversification’ the councillors have opted to ignore not only the advice of their experienced and highly qualified Officers, but also the recommendations of the Landscape Consultant, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Joint Advisory Committee for AONBs, which warned that this decision would ‘undermine the status’ of these designated areas.  In addition, their decision is in conflict with Denbighshire’s Unitary Development Plan policies.  An extract from a Denbighshire Planning document states:

Planning Policy Wales (2002) paragraph  5.36 states: “National Parks and AONBs are of equal status in terms of landscape  and scenic beauty and both must be afforded the highest status of protection  from inappropriate developments. In UDP policies and development control  decisions National Parks and AONBs must be treated as of equivalent status. In  National Parks and AONBs , UDP policies and development control decisions should  give great weight to conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and  cultural heritage of these areas”

Now that this turbine has been given the green light it could mean that many other areas within the AONB, which stretches from Llangollen, through Ruthin and Moel Fammau, continuing along the Clwydian Range towards Prestatyn, could be opened up for this form of development.

These councillors don’t seem able to grasp that the area’s economy is heavily reliant upon tourism, and the many thousands of visitors do not come here to see landscapes bristling with towering turbines.  Instead, our elected representatives seem hell bent on destroying what is one of the county’s greatest assets.

STEMM Seeks Judicial Review to Halt Syrior Turbines.

LATEST UPDATE REGARDING THE PROPOSED TWO 150FT (46M) TURBINES AT SYRIOR, LLANDRILLO.

As far as the Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) plans for Mynydd Mynyllod are concerned, there is absolutely nothing to report. As far back as May 2012 they were saying that consultation documents would be circulated by July 2012.  Since then, total silence, apart from having confirmed to the Planning Inspectorate that they anticipate making a planning application in the third quarter (Q3) of 2013.  However, since they haven’t yet gone out to pre-application consultation, it is hard to see how this date can be met.

In the meantime, we have been grafting very hard, both before and after the Denbighshire (DCC) Planning Committee meeting on February 20th, which gave the go-ahead for two wind turbines at Syrior, Llandrillo by a vote of 14-12, an application to which very many of you objected.

I think it is worth remembering why this application is so important in the wider context of the proposed development of the rest of Mynydd Mynyllod, and why we have all fought it so hard:

(i)  It is within the boundary previously defined by SPR as part of their Mynydd Mynyllod scheme, and must therefore have had their approval.

(ii)  SPR provided ornithological information to help remedy a shortcoming in the Syrior application.

(iii)  It is on tenanted land owned by the Crogen Estate and the tenancy agreement will have obliged Syrior to have the approval of Crogen.

(iv)  Crogen is the major landowner beneficiary of the SPR proposal and so both they and SPR have an interest in the degradation of the landscape by the Syrior turbines so that any further visual impact assessment will claim that the damage has already been done.

(v)  Perhaps the most important aspect is that there are four landowners who have already said “yes” to SPR wind turbines on their land. Even if SPR don’t go ahead, or are turned down for their monstrous proposal, approval for Syrior will have opened up the area for other applications.

With this in mind, we took legal advice from Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law, and were told that there are good grounds on which to apply for judicial review of the planning decision by DCC. These reasons mainly revolve from the inadequacy of the process followed by DCC.

We have therefore advised DCC of our intention to apply to the courts for judicial review.  We see this as an extension of the wall of protest that STEMM supporters have already thrown up around this application and thus it is not a change of course.  It is, however, stepping up a gear, but we are fortunate in having an offer of separate funds to support this process. I trust that we can count on your continuing support for this challenge to the wind factory development of Mynydd Mynyllod and the Upper Dee Valley.  (Andrew Jedwell on behalf of STEMM.)

‘Latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme.’

Powerful words this week from Welsh hill farmer R. Davies of Bala in the lead letter in the Free Press.
As farmers the land we farm is not ours, we are merely guardians of it, looking after it for future generations as previous ones have for us.  Without farmers there’d be no countryside.  Sadly it appears that the ever-increasing greed and want for more, of some farmers throughout the UK, is leading to the demise of the very countryside we are supposed to protect…..Building commercial wind turbines on your land is simply not farming.  We are selling ourselves short for short-term gain for the few.  Farming forms part of our Welsh identity, it is as important as our language, and yet we do nothing to protect its longevity….It is time that those of us who truly cherish our country and land stood up to our neighbours; after all they clearly don’t care about our future or ‘way of life’, and protect the countryside that is at risk by its guardians.  If you think commercial wind turbines are farm diversification then you are clearly in the wrong job: you are not farming.’
There is also a letter in the newspaper from Mike Skuse of Ruthin who is part of the group campaigning against RWE npower’s plans for 32 wind turbines of 475ft (145m) for Clocaenog Forest.  Mike makes several points including this:  ‘The number of jobs in the renewable sector is only growing because of the subsidies that we are paying.  That is taking money out of my pocket and putting it in the windfarm developer’s.  That decreases my spending power and increases his – but it does not create new wealth at all.  Subsidies are in effect a tax.’
No doubt more letters will follow in the coming weeks.