A scheme for two industrial wind turbines on the outskirts of Llandderfel, between Corwen and Bala, has been submitted to Gwynedd Council. The proposal is to erect two 377 ft (115m) high turbines at Bodelith Isaf – 78ft (24m) taller than those at Braich Ddu. The deadline for objections is Thursday, May 1.
This bid, by renewables energy development company, Pennant Walters, is the latest of a series of efforts by landowners and developers to introduce these out-of-scale industrial structures into the unspoilt upper Dee Valley.
As many of you will already know, a Judicial Review challenge has been launched to overturn Denbighshire Planning Committee’s decision to give the go ahead to two 150ft (46m) turbines at Syrior, Llandrillo. In addition, of course, there is Scottish Power Renewables’ plan for 25, 475ft (145m) wind turbines along the ridge and slopes of Mynydd Mynyllod, in the Cynwyd, Llandrillo and Llandderfel areas.
So, to date, this small and beautiful area is currently earmarked for a potential 29 wind turbines, ranging in height from 150ft to 475ft. They will bring with them miles of access roads, hard standing, pylons and a substation. This scenery, so popular with local residents and visitors alike, could be lost forever if all these schemes are voted through.
There are, of course, three turbines already at Braich Ddu which, at 298ft (91m), are significantly smaller than those proposed at Bodelith. But, if all the wind farm schemes in this area get the green light we will be faced with a turbine dominated landscape. This would stretch from Wern Ddu (4 x 90m), through the Gwyddelwern turbines (3 x 46m), Braich Ddu (3 x 91m), those planned for Mynydd Mynyllod (25 x 145m) and Llandrillo (2 x 46m), and running to this new scheme at Llandderfel (2 x 115m). In all, a total of 39 wind turbines of a range of heights – a visual nightmare. Bear in mind, too, that this is all not only on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, but also the newly extended Clwydian Range AONB, which now borders Corwen and Cynwyd, as well as the SSSI Berwyns.
There is a lot of information contained in the various documents within that link. The latest one, however, is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) provided by the developer, which has to look at a range of aspects, which can also be used as grounds for objection. These include:
the cumulative visual impact of the proposed 115 m turbines in relation to existing turbines and all those in various stages of the planning process in the area;
impact on local residents of noise, possible shadow flicker, potential loss of value of property (particularly relevant in light of the recent London School of Economics report which shows a significant drop in house prices for homes close to turbines https://www.facebook.com/download/399312376875060/gibbons%20house%20prices%20April%202014%20sercdp0159.pdf ) etc;
issues concerning access to the site and transportation of all the components;
impact on birdlife and bats;
possible impact on the many tourist based businesses in the area (the surveys referred to in the EIA date back to 2005/2006 and studies have been courtesy of the British Wind Energy Association, hardly a disinterested organisation);
effect on the archaeology/historic environment etc
An objection, either by email or letter, can be as short or long as you wish it to be, but it must be relevant to the planning process. Those issues listed above are amongst the most commonly put forward in opposing wind farm schemes. Please remember to give your full name, address and contact details.
It is also worthwhile, particularly if you live in Gwynedd, to contact your local county and/or community councillors to let them know how you feel about this proposal.