Plans submitted for Rhondda Cynon Taf windfarm
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
Plans for a wind farm in Rhondda Cynon Taf which could power more than 15,000 homes have been submitted.
The plan for seven turbines at Mynydd y Glyn, east of Trebanog, has been put forward by Pennant Walters Ltd with a potential capacity of 30 megawatts (MW).
The planning statement submitted with the application said that based on indicative, smaller capacity turbines of 3.45MW, the proposed development would see the generation of 24.2MW of renewable energy, which would support the electricity needs of about 15,376 homes.
It said the development would support investment in the economy and employment with approximately 41 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and four during operation.
It is estimated that the expenditure in Wales associated with the construction phase would total £9.6m, whilst the operation phase would equate to £700,000 a year.
The proposed development would be locally owned with Pennant Walters and its parent company, the Walters Group, headquartered within RCT.
The site is located about 1km east of Trebanog and 600m south-east of Glynfach and would be accessed via a new track leading from a new junction on the A4233.
It would be located on the summit and upper slopes of Mynydd y Glyn to the south of Rhondda River. The site doesn’t have distinct field boundaries or tree cover, leaving it open and exposed.
The site has a total area of about 182 hectares and will be made up of a substation and control building, temporary construction compounds including temporary site offices, crane pads at each turbine location, turbine foundations, lay down and storage areas, underground power cables linking the turbines and the substation, internal access tracks, a new access from the A4233, an overhead line section of a longer grid connection (the remainder to be underground) between the site and an existing National Grid substation, and other works.
The final decision on the application will be made by Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) as the development is described as being of national significance.
The planning statement said the development is considered to accord with policy in that the environmental effects arising from its construction and operation are not considered to be significant when weighed against the benefits that it would deliver by supporting the Welsh Government’s aims of generating 70% of consumed electricity by renewable means by 2030.
It said that while effects upon the local landscape have been identified as being potentially significant, the positive policy framework in favour of onshore wind referenced within Future Wales indicates that consent for the proposed development should be forthcoming.
It said: “Onshore wind farms by their nature give rise to localised landscape (and visual) effects but the level of effect must be balanced with the benefits of the development and for this application, specifically balanced against the significant weight to be afforded to the need to generate energy from renewable resources.”
In terms of biodiversity, the statement said there would be no unacceptable impacts on the integrity of internationally or nationally designated sites.
It said no significant effects on statutorily protected built heritage assets have been identified and effects from shadow flicker, noise and light can be mitigated.
The statement added that consultation has concluded the development will not have an unacceptable impact upon defence facilities or operations whilst the transport assessment does not identify any significant effects arising from the construction.
It added that materials will be sourced locally wherever possible and the applicant proposes to enhance the quality of habitats at the site, recognising that part of it is designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.
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