An appeal against Denbighshire Planning committee’s decision to refuse an application for a 77 metre (252 ft) wind turbine at Lletty Farm, Gwyddelwern, just outside Corwen, has been dismissed by the Welsh Planning Inspectorate chiefly on the grounds that ‘the unacceptable visual harm’ would outweigh any benefits.
The Appeal Decision states: ‘The main issues in this case are the effects of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area and on the setting of the nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and whether or not any such harm would be outweighed by the benefits of the proposed scheme.’ It goes on to point out that there are already several wind turbines in the area, including three 46m turbines in Gwyddelwern, and the nearby Wern Ddu wind farm with four turbines of 90m. In addition, there are more wind turbines at ‘scattered farms further away’. There is a lot more information in the document which can be found on this link. http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/fscdav/READONLY?OBJ=COO.2036.300.12.6170164&NAME=%2F2202906.pdf
This tends to make you wonder how many other turbines that Denbighshire’s councillors have been approving, despite opposition from residents and other concerned groups, may also have been dismissed had the councillors instead refused them and they had gone to appeal. So many of these turbines are close to, and even in one shocking case, actually WITHIN an AONB!
The image above shows the existing turbines at Wern Ddu and it comes from the excellent ‘To Hatch A Crow’ blog which, in December, ran a wonderful piece about the wind turbines in this area. In it is this little gem: ‘On the subject of Wern Ddu, the last energy output figures I have to hand showed it operated at a rather pathetic 19% of its potential capacity. Environmental impact huge – Energy contribution minimal – Subsidised profits to shareholders healthy!’
There is also a lot of information in the blog about the proposed Clocaenog wind farm of 32, 145m (475ft) turbines, just outside the historic market town of Ruthin, which is currently being examined. This will close on March 12 and there are a range of Hearings throughout this month.
There are some very interesting points of detail in the blog, but particularly relevant to the area is this: ‘Last year the Vale of Clwyd beneath the Clocaenog development area, suffered catastrophic flooding which took one life and caused millions of pounds worth of damage. For those living in the shadow of the forest in this flood prone valley, the idea of massive clear felling of tree cover with its inevitable impact on water retention and inundation of water courses in periods of heavy precipitation-not exactly a rare phenomena in the north Wales uplands!- must be chilling in its cataclysmic potential. Despite spending millions of pounds on flood prevention in the area, the dark irony of the Welsh assembly government aiding a development which can only further exacerbate the flooding potential brings me back to my earlier comment re- lunatics running the asylum!’ The full blog can be found here http://tohatchacrow.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/all-this-useless-beauty.html