ANOTHER tall wind turbine looks set to be added to a skyline ridge in south Pembrokeshire, following a planning inspector’s ruling.
Permission for the structure - 72 metres to its tip - at Hill Farm, Ludchurch was turned down last year by Pembrokeshire County Council.
But applicant Mr L. Williams made an appeal to the Welsh Government and a three-day hearing in May followed.
Inspector Sian Worden has now allowed the appeal and granted planning permission - to ‘the distress and anger of residents’, said Mary Sinclair, the chairman of the Pembrokeshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW).
“The turbine will be located on virtually the highest point between the two settlements (Princes Gate and Ludchurch), adversely impacting on both,” she commented. “This brings the total of wind turbines in the local area to eight, with a further one still awaiting decision.”
Ms Worden stated in her report that she found that the proposal would not have a material adverse impact on the appearance of the area, and that she did not have any ‘compelling arguments’ for refusing the appeal.
She added: “Whilst I recognise that a tipping point will come, and possibly sooner than later, the addition of the turbine proposed now would not change the landscape from its current, essentially rural, agricultural character to one characterised by tall, man-made development.”
However, Mrs Sinclair said that the inspector had failed to consider or even mention the nearby community of Ludchurch, which will ‘now be surrounded by tall structures consisting of prominent wind turbines and the double row of pylons.
“This community does not deserve this shabby treatment meted out to them by the local planning authority, by this planning inspector and ultimately by the Welsh Assembly Government.”
She added that the inspector only considered two homes in Princes Gate, out of a whole row with direct close views of the turbine, and considered only one out of a cluster of three off Tanners Lane.
“Already, some of these residents are preparing to sell their homes - inevitably at reduced prices,” said Mrs Sinclair.
The area’s county councillor, David Simpson, told the Western Telegraph that he was ‘saddened’ by the decision.
He added: “I feel that the Planning Inspectorate totally ignored the concerns of the community council, local community and also my concerns with regards to the gas pipeline that will be now within close proximity to the turbine.”