Wind turbines ‘30m taller than Big Ben’ to be built in the Rhondda
People have voiced their opposition to two “eyesore” wind turbines that could soon be built in the Rhondda and would reach higher than Big Ben.
The plans would see two wind turbines with a maximum height of 125m – higher than Wales’ tallest building – installed at Llwyncelyn Farm in Porth , with the plans set to be discussed by Rhondda Cynon Taf council ’s planners this week.
It comes after a proposal for a single wind turbine at the nearby Graig Fatha Farm in Coedely, near Tonyrefail, was pushed through by the council last month .
If built, the two new turbines, like the Coedely structure, would stand higher than the Tower at Meridian Quay in Swansea.
But since being made public, the plans, submitted by Bridgend-based Cenin Renewables Ltd, have seen significant opposition, with 34 letters of objection raising issues around its visual impact, noise pollution and that it will bring “no financial or environmental benefit”.
But in its reasons for recommendation, the report concludes: “Whilst a number of objections have been received from residents who are opposed to the scheme for a variety of different reasons, the application has been assessed in relation to its effect on all relevant matters including landscape, visual amenity and noise and it has been concluded that the proposed development with not causing significant harm to existing amenities.”
The planning statement identifies that the wind turbines would enable the supply of electricity to an average of 2,280 homes, or 38% of the homes in Porth, which it is suggested, is “significant in both a local and national context”.
The development is expected to take four months, and, once erected, will have a 25-year operational life.
In response to the initial consultation, 24 letters of objection were submitted, citing more than 20 issues with the development that said it would be an “eyesore”, it would cause noise pollution both day and night and that “there are more than enough turbines” in the area.
Then, following a second consultation, 10 further letters of objection were received, raising concerns that the turbines will be 30m taller than Big Ben, and that “the visual impact of turbines would tower over the village of Ynyshir”.
But concluding the report and recommending councillors to push the plans through subject to a number of conditions, the report says the development can be “reasonably accommodated” within the landscape without harm.
It adds: “The development represents a small scale (in policy terms) wind development that would contribute to the Welsh Government’s commitment to optimising renewable energy generation.
“Having assessed the impacts of the development on the character of the landscape, the visual amenity from residential areas and potential cumulative impact with existing and proposed wind turbines in the vicinity, on balance, it is considered the proposed development can be accommodated within the landscape.”