Site is deemed not suitable and of special historic interest
Welsh housing and regeneration Minister Carl Sargeant has dismissed an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a 21-turbine wind farm in open countryside, despite the area being identified by the Welsh government as a Strategic Search Area (SSA): land considered to be broadly suitable for large-scale wind development.â€¨â€¨
Carmarthenshire County Council refused RES UK & Ireland's proposals for the Bryn Llywelyn development, between Lampeter and Carmarthen, in 2010. The scheme would have had a footprint of 1,397 hectares with 21 turbines.â€¨â€¨
RES UK & Ireland appealed the decision and a 13-day inquiry into the application was overseen by the planning inspector in 2013. He concluded that while the development would contribute to the UK target of 15% energy from renewable sources by 2020 and that the site was contained in a Strategic Search Area for renewables development, not all such land was environmentally suitable for major windpower proposals.
The planning inspector said that the site in question was not suitable and should be preserved as a ‘special place’. He also considered the proposals would harm the setting of a number of Bronze Age Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs).â€¨â€¨Sargeant concurred with the decision by the planning inspector and dismissed the appeal.â€¨â€¨
Acting as an expert witness on landscape matters for Carmarthenshire County Council, Michelle Bolger, senior landscape planner at Gillespies, presented her assessment of the landscape in which the wind farm was proposed. She concluded that the development would be very harmful to the perception of Mynydd Llanllwni as a wild, empty and quiet landscape and to the value placed on it by local people and visitors alike.â€¨â€¨
'All those involved in defending Carmarthenshire County Council’s decision to refuse this application are pleased that the Inspector and the Minister recognised the importance of Mynydd Llanllwni with its wealth of Bronze Age SAMs and extensive areas of common grazing land,’ says Bolger. ‘We are delighted that these very special qualities will be preserved for everyone to enjoy.’
Elsewhere, Gillespies’ plans for the public realm at Birmingham’s Arena Central development have been unveiled by Arena Central Developments Ltd (ACDL).