Holiday resort solar farm plans get the green light
Plans for an 11-hectacre solar farm, which would “support the long-term viability” of Pembrokeshire’s Bluestone holiday resort, have been given the go-ahead.
The application for a solar photovoltaic panel array and associated works, made by Bluestone Resorts Ltd, was recommended for conditional approval by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, meeting on February 14.
The 11-hectare array site – to the east of neighbouring Oakwood Theme Park – will generate four megawatts of electricity, with a lifespan of up to 40 years.
Bluestone Resorts Ltd said the proposed solar farm would form part of its “commitment to reducing carbon emissions and becoming net zero by 2040”.
Existing facilities at Bluestone include a biomass boiler, providing heating for the Blue Lagoon Waterpark, and a biomass energy centre that provides heating for lodges.
The application added: “The significant rise in energy prices would mean that the development would also provide a significant financial benefit and support the long-term viability of the resort.”
The development will replace an existing plantation of willow crop that is cut on ‘rotation’ to provide biomass for the resort’s heating boiler.
Local community council – Martletwy –supported the application, but had previously queried why sites around the resort, such as above car parking spaces and lodge roofs, have not been used for solar panels.
Bluestone, in response, said it had explored a number of options including rooftop solar and ground mounted panels in the car park.
It said the proposed site and proposal currently provides “the greatest opportunity for maximising renewable energy generation avoiding and minimising other material planning and operational impacts”.
The report for planners said any visual impact of the application would be minimised “because field patterns and their enclosures remain substantially unchanged and the height of structures are limited,” adding: “Due to the mitigation that is proposed, the openness of the site within the context of the wider landscape would not be significantly affected.”
Councillor Brian Hall, moving the unanimously supported recommendation at the February 14 meeting, described Bluestone as “a fantastic facility”.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.