Concerns raised about plans for wind farm substation in St Asaph
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
Concerns have been raised about plans for a proposed wind farm substation in St Asaph, due to the number of renewable energy projects being sites in the area.
RWE Renewables want to build 91 wind turbines off the coast between Llanfairfechan and Colwyn Bay, which will include online cables and a substation.
The new substation is proposed for land to the west of St Asaph Business Park.
The plans, though, are still at an early pre-application stage, and a full planning application is yet to be submitted to Denbighshire County Council.
But at a planning committee meeting this week, councillors voted in favour of granting planning officers delegated authority to represent the council in pre-application negotiations.
But several councillors commented further on the plans, including Cllr Merfyn Parry.
Cllr Parry said he would be concerned if he lived in St Asaph, referring also to the yet-to-be-approved solar power site proposed north-east of the city.
“I take it that this is going to be a new substation that is going to be built to the west of St Asaph Business Park,” he said.
“We’ve also got two large applications coming in for solar farms that I imagine are going to have two substations, again in the St Asaph area.
“I would, if I lived in St Asaph, start to be a little bit concerned with all the substations that are getting put around the St Asaph area. Maybe they (the developers) could consider that when they are having a think about their proposals on this one.”
The developers want to install offshore cables to bring power to shore at Ffirth Breach, Prestatyn. The cables would then run underground between Ffrith beach to Bodelwyddan’s St Asaph Business Park, connecting to the National Grid.
The plans were initially discussed at a planning committee meeting in October but returned to the table due to several ‘minor’ changes.
The updated plans include:
- A new site for the beach works Temporary Construction Compound and associated beach accesses, proposed to be located on land to the west and north-west of the North Wales Bowls Centre, with vehicular access off Ferguson Avenue, Prestatyn.
- A new construction vehicle access route across the beach.
- New areas of beach to be used for temporary placement of cable installation vessel anchors.
- Several minor new areas along the onshore cable route required for access and environmental mitigation works.
Back at the October committee meeting, councillors expressed concerns about the plans including options for two transition joint boxes on Rhyl Golf Club’s course.
The two 20-metre by five-metre concrete slabs raised fears about the future of the club.
Cllr Joan Butterfield asked planning officers to request that developers take this into account when drawing up plans.
“If you are now opening consultation with the contractors, I’d just like to highlight the consultation that the Rhyl members had, which was many months ago now,” she said.
“At that consultation, we were given an assurance Rhyl Golf Club would be secure, and all the (development’s) defences, cables, and paraphernalia weren’t going to interfere with the golf club.
“A little later, we were told, but not officially, that there was some consultation around two large platforms of concrete that would be laid on the site and that would interfere with the greens at the golf club.
“With the consultation and negotiation with the contractors, would you please highlight that and ask where they are with that and if, indeed, this is to happen, and could we then be part of the consultation to see whether that would be an appropriate act?”
Cllr Butterfield was reminded the matter was still at a pre-application stage and that all councillors can feed back their input into the project.
Denbighshire officer Paul Mead commented: “The issue with Rhyl Golf course, we did raise that, didn’t we, when we came to planning in October?
“I think we’ve had an update from Awel y Mor on that in their newsletter to say that they had taken that into account.”
Cllr Joan Butterfield proposed councillors voted in favour of granting officers delegated powers, and Cllr Gwyneth Kensler seconded her. The vote was carried.
The matter is expected to return to the planning committee when an application is submitted.
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