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Anglesey North Wales Politics

Wind turbine plan at Llanfairynghornwy gets green light

A PROPOSAL for a 14.75m domestic wind turbine at an Anglesey coastal beauty spot was given the thumbs up by planners – despite concerns raised over tourism impact.

Anglesey County Council received four objection against plans to site a turbine at Llanfairynghornwy, in an AONB area of outstanding natural beauty.

A full application was submitted by John EH Roberts for a single 5kW turbine at the 200-year-old property, Pendref.

The dwelling neighbours the Pencraig Campsite, which featured in the Daily Post this week as one of the best camp sites listed in the UK to boost mental well-being.

The objections included impact on the AONB and holiday accommodation, loss of views, and the turbine ‘not relating well’ to the dwelling, the planning officer reported.

However, Mr Roberts’ plans were permitted following a debate during the planning and orders committee on Wednesday (January 11.)
The development had met with policy, its scale location and distance to neighbouring properties and effects were considered “acceptable.”

It would “not significantly negatively impact” the wider environment,” the planning officer said, and it was considered “sustainable” in line with the ‘Energy Island’ principle.

During a three minute address, Mr Roberts said he and his wife had “endeavoured to mitigate the turbine’s visual and environmental on the special landscape of the AONB.”

It had been “carefully located” away from the immediate neighbours,” on a downhill slope with a background of fields and fences to avoid it being silhouetted by sky.

“When viewed by more distant neighbours, we hope the turbine will not impede on the AONB special qualities of peace and tranquillity and views.” He said.

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The structure would also be camouflaged and carefully positioned to prevent it from being “overpowering, overwhelming or oppressive.”
Mr Roberts raised the global debate over climate change and his commitment to renewable energy.

“Some people might consider us to be hippy dippy tree huggers for suggesting it is vital to listen to what nature is telling us. But we are firm believers in thinking globally and acting locally.” He said.

Committee members ‘virtually’ visited the site visit on December 21. The council’s planning officer was “satisfied” that the single, pole mounted turbine, was on a domestic scale.

It was located 120m from the nearest neighbours, there was no light to cause “flickering or impact.” Residential properties to the north had coastal views and of Mynydd Y Garn, which were “considered high value views”

But the turbine would not impact these – “only appearing against a background of local hills.” He said. As the nearest property was 120m, the noise would be unobtrusive, “similar to wind in trees.”

“The campsite is approximately 130m away, so the development would not affect it.” He said.

But Cllr Jackie Lewis was concerned over visibility, noise, impact on nearby properties, the tourism economy, amenity of tourists, views and effect on the AONB.

“Of course, the applicant is also in the same ward, I’m advised to abstain on this application, but I speak on behalf of ‘Andrew’ an objector.

She described Pengraig as a farm at Llanfairyngyhornwy run by a fifth generation farming family.

Andrew had a construction company and had diversified to create the camp site in 2008.

“It’s open all year round, last year 784 people stayed there” She said. It’s named as the second best camp site in Wales for improving mental health, it’s in the Daily Post.

“The article describes everything, the views, the people, the walks, the peace, the quiet, if you want bells and whistles this camp site is not for you.

“If you want walks on the doorstep, to see every star in the sky, the complete feeling of tranquillity, then this is definitely the place for you… Bliss!”

Among issues raised, she said the effect on the AONB could affect the nearby properties and the “standard of amenities enjoyed by the tourist population.”

“It says there will be no impact, but the farm and neighbouring properties are only 130m, that’s a similar distance from the town hall in Llangefni to the former Burgess building.” She said.

“Tourism is an important element of the local economy, any detrimental impact on this economic sector from wind energy developments should be minimised.”

“..,it will be visible from Carmel Head and Mynydd Y Garn and from the campsite, views aren’t matters to be considered but we’re talking about the effect on a tourism business about to expand.”

She also raised proximity to a footpath, and potential impact on geology.

Cllr Robin Williams respected Cllr Lewis’s comments saying “I have spoken out in the past about wind turbines, but when I talk about them I mean wind farms rather than single wind turbines.

“As one who has put up solar panels on my own home, I think there is a duty on each of us to try and help with the problems in the world with climate change. We all have we have a duty to personally do something.

“I don’t think this will have any impact on other properties, it is one football field away from anyone else. I propose we accept the recommendation.

Cllr Geraint Bebb agreed, saying “everyone has a role to fight climate change” and seconded. Cllr Ken Taylor was also in favour.

The planning officer added that the virtual site visit had provided effective videos of the site, including the campsite and turbine, adding the site was “sufficient distance” to overcome any concerns.

“I agree it is close to the footpath, but I don’t think it will create any significant harms.

“It is a domestic turbine, a single turbine to serve a dwelling, not on a scale that is significant to have a big impact on the wider environment,” He said.

“This council promotes itself an energy island, when you have an applicant applying for one wind turbine to be more sustainable, that complies with the council principles, in terms of energy island, we should be supportive of the proposal as noted in the report.”

Members voted in favour of the application in line with the council’s planning officers’ recommendations, with conditions.