Installation of a farm wind turbine max. hueb height 25m with a total height to blade tip of 37m.
LOCAL MEMBER: Councillor Stephen W Chrchman
Erect a 85kw wind turbine on a 25m column, with a total height of 37m to the tip of the blade
(a) The Senior Development Control Officer elaborated on the background of the application and noted that this was a full application to erect a 85kw wind turbine on a 25m tower with a total height of 37m to its tip (including the blades) on agricultural land between the villages of Bryncir and Garndolbenmaen. It was explained that the location of the turbine was within 260m of the residential property of Llystyn Ganol and within 150m of the existing turbine on the land. It was highlighted that the boundary of Snowdonia National Park was located approximately 440m to the east of the site.
The application had been screened formally for an Environmental Impact Assessment under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (as amended) and it was not considered that the impact of the proposed development on the environment was sufficiently substantial to justify submitting an environmental statement with this application.
In terms of the principle of the development, it was noted that this was acceptable and that relevant national planning policies involving renewable energy developments had been considered together with policy C26.
In the context of general and residential amenities, it was highlighted that there was a significant distance between the site of the proposed turbine and any nearby dwelling (except for the applicant's property). The noise assessment submitted with the application was assessed by the Public Protection Unit and it was confirmed that the noise levels of the proposed turbine together with the noise of the existing turbine would not be raised higher than the appropriate noise levels. Consequently, it was suggested that a condition should be included to ensure that the noise levels did not change to an unacceptable level and impair on the general and residential amenities of the neighbouring area and in terms of shadow flicker.
In relation to visual amenities, confirmation had been received from the AONB Unit stating that it had no concerns regarding the impact of the proposed development in terms of views in and out of the AONB. In response to the objections of the National Park, Snowdonia Society, Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) and members of the public which noted that the proposal would have a detrimental impact on the setting of the Park, and that there was an unacceptable cumulative impact given that there was another turbine on the site and on other land nearby, it was noted that the proposal would not likely harm the special characteristics and character of the Park by being significantly intrusive visually and/or by by means of insensitive and incompatible siting within the landscape.
Having considered all the observations received as well as local and national policies and guidance, it was reiterated that this proposed development would not have a detrimental impact on the amenities of the local area including the general landscape or on views into and out of the nearby National Park.
(b) The local member (not a member of this Planning Committee) made the following main points:-
· That he did not object to the application and that the details of the report were accurate
· That the turbine was a little larger than the one currently on the site, but blended in well to the background
· That the National Park opposed every turbine near its boundaries
· That the application complied with current policies
· That there was no objection from local residents - no objections / observations had come to hand
· The applicant kept a traditional farm and needed to diversify
Proposed and seconded to approve the application in accordance with the planning officers’ recommendation.
In response to a question regarding what weight is given to the observations of the National Park in order for them to be disregarded, the Development Control Manager noted that these observations had been assessed in full in the report and in the context of the observations of NRW which did not object despite the location of the Park.
(c) During the ensuing discussion, the following main observations were noted:
· That the proposed turbine was in a less prominent site than many others
· Supportive of renewable energy
· Welcomed diversification given that basic payments would reduce and would end in 2020
RESOLVED to approve the application
1. Time - commence work within two years.
2. Comply with plans
3. Permission for a period of 25 years
4. Colour / finish
9. Underground cables only
10. Submit details of any equipment or machinery
11. Planning condition to protect bats