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Latest News >> Action Group News >> Brechfa Forest

The Threat to Brechfa Forest

Planning Application for BRECHFA FOREST EAST wind turbine development by RWE Npower

Proposal for 12 turbines on Forestry Commission and private land between Rhydcymerau and Abergorlech called “Brechfa Forest East” – up to 145m/476ft high

Comment On Application

Description:

PROPOSED ERECTION OF TWELVE (12) WIND TURBINES TO FORM A SCHEME KNOWN AS 'BRECHFA FOREST EAST WIND FARM', THE PROPOSAL WILL ALSO INCLUDE NEW TRACKS, UPGRADE OF EXISTING TRACKS, ANEMOMETRY MAST, SUBSTATION, BORROW-PIT AND OTHER ASSOCIATED DEVELOPMENT.

Address:

FORESTRY COMMISSION WALES LAND , AND AGRICULTURAL LAND SOUTH OF RHYDCYMERAU (B4337) AND NORTH OF ABERGORLECH (B4310)

Date Opened:

13 Jan 2011

Application No:

E/24195

Status:

current

www.ukplanning.com/carmarthenshire/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=3393D86C24E131CB9A57CA04AA8BD484.wam2?action=show&appType=planning%20folder&appNumber=E/24195

You can see the full paper documents at the Planning Offices in Spilman Street , Carmarthen and Llandeilo, also the libraries in Carmarthen and Llandeilo.

Also at the Community Shop in Brechfa, nowhere else.  

RWE Npower’s website:

www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/306036/rwe-npower-renewables/sites/projects-in-development/wind/brechfa-forest/brechfa-forest-east-the-proposal/

In any letters, ensure you quote the Application Number and that you receive an acknowledgement from the County Council - if you don't get an acknowledgement [usually a postcard] then chase it up as it may have got lost in the system. Petitions only get counted as ONE in number terms, NOT the number that sign it.

Letters to:

Eifion Bowen, address given below.

At the County Council, the civil servant dealing with this application is:

Richard Jones, Development Control Officer, (01267) 224844 - REJones@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Richard Jones says “The closing date is 9th March 2011, but as explained previously we will log objections  / observations up to the point of determination. Notwithstanding this every effort must be made to get representations in before 9th

The Renewable Energy Systems application has now been registered with the County Council website -
Description: PLEASE NOTE: THE CONSULTATION PERIOD WILL EXPIRE ON 23 FEBRUARY 2011

21 WIND TURBINES (3 BLADED VERTICAL AXIS) TO A MAXIMUMBLADE TIP HEIGHT OF 127 METRES WITH ASSOCIATED ELECTRICITY TRANSFORMERS, UNDERGROUND CABLING, ACCESS  TRACKS, ROAD WIDENING

Address: LAND SURROUNDING BRYN LLEWELYN, LLANLLWNI, CARMARTHENSHIRE, SA39 9ED
Application No: E/23947
Online Ref: 0
Date Opened: 14 Dec 2010
Status: current

To go to the on-line details of the Environment Status, maps, etc:
 
http://www.ukplanning.com/carmarthenshire/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=D7778A6A440457E06422AF1C0017FC91.wam2?action=show&appType=planning%20folder&appNumber=E/23947
 
This is the application submitted by Renewable Energy Systems for 21 turbines up to 127m/418 feet on farmland and the open mountain on Crown land [nothing to do with the two N Power RWE applications for Forestry Commission land]
 
This means that letters of objection can now start to be submitted - the group Friends of Llanllwni Mountain have been formed and you can contact them on 01559 395463 or e-mail save@llanllwni-mountain.co.uk. John Jones was elected as their Chair and Rosemary Harrison as Secretary, and John is now writing a weekly column in the Carmarthen Journal.
 
In any letters, ensure you quote the Application Number  and that you receive an acknowledgement from the County Council - if you don't then chase it up as it may have gone astray. Petitions only get counted as ONE in number terms, NOT the number that sign it.
 
Letters to:

Eifion Bowen

Carmarthenshire County Council

40 Spilman Street

Carmarthen

SA31 1LQ

At the County Council, the civil servant dealing with this application is:
 Richard Jones, Development Control Officer, (01267) 224844 - REJones@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

The Llanllwni Community Council held a public meeting on Thursday 25 November at 7.30pm in Llanllwni Community Hall.

The actual location of the turbines lie in the area covered by Llanfihangel Rhos y Corn Community Council. The Clerk's details are as follow and the County Councillor details are below:
 
Llanfihangel Rhos y Corn Community Council Clerk
Mrs Linda Davies, Esgair Gynddu, Abergorlech, Carmarthen.
Tel: 01558 685046
 
County Councillor Details: Cllr. D A Williams (Independent)
Electoral Division: Llanegwad
Contact Details: Y-Goedlan, Nantgaredig, Carmarthen, SA32 7LG
Telephone: 01267 290380 Email: DilAWilliams@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

The RES application for Llanllwni Mountain has changed its name to Bryn Llewellyn and moved date to Feb 2011. RES will now be submitting an application for 21 turbines mainly on the open Common Land - as this would be below the 50MW size requiring IPC approval, the application would go straight to the County Council - probably in late autumn. RES held exhibitions on October 7th and 6th to present their proposals and "consult" with locals at the following locations: Capel Nonni, Llanllwni and Llansawel Hall.

The area of Brechfa Forest targeted by RES is shown in red on the map below:

The proposed locations of each of the 21 turbines is shown as red dots on the following map:

The following letter was published in the Cambrian News, July 29.

Madam, Re: the controversy over the discovery of a dead Red Kite on Alltwalis Wind Farm near the base of one of the turbines.
 
Statkraft director Sergio Castedo stated in the Cambrian News, "It is important that the truth and facts behind this incident are communicated”. That is fair enough, but to claim that, 'Red Kite not killed by Alltwallis wind turbines' is disingenuous. This is not an established fact, it is not proven.

Nowhere in vet’s report does it state, "the red kite was not killed by the turbine", instead the veterinary surgeon states, “the exact cause of death was unable to be detected”, and that, “trauma would seem unlikely in light of the radiographic evidence.” Is it not rather unlikely that the only cause of harm/death due to a turbine would be a direct strike? The sudden drop in air pressure and increase in air pressure close to a turbine in operation could cause internal injuries and flight problems in itself.  Imagine the effect of falling off a ship and being churned in the water from a propellor, the pressure changes would probably do as much damage as a direct strike.

Red Kites don't generally drop out of the sky and die, but this one did and was found with dried blood stained around its mouth near the base of one of the Alltwallis turbines. I believe this established fact is significant. Other people can draw their own conclusions.

Given that Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM has written to Carmarthenshire County Council urging them to, “use the powers available to them to shut down the wind farm” until Statkraft resolve the noise and flicker problems being experienced by some residents in Gwyddgrug, may I suggest that this would be a good idea such that the residents of Gwyddgrug can get a good nights sleep, and that the red kite can fly free without fear of being struck down by these massive industrial icons to green consumerism.

Tim Shaw, Dinefwr Green Group, Campaigns Coordinator, c/o The Green House Shop, Llandeilo.Tel: 01558 685353

A visitor to Alltwalis on June 11th found a dead kite under one of the turbines 

"Thought you would like to know that I found a dead Red Kite under one of the turbines at the new Alltwalis windfarm today. Construction of the site has also seen the accidental introduction of Japanese Knotweed by the contractors.
Photo attached"

 

 

We believe that RWE-Npower plan to apply for permission to install 28 turbines at "Brechfa Forest West", the Mynydd Tre Beddau site uphill from the Alltwalis turbines. Due to the size of this installation the proposal will be handled by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC). 

RWE-Npower also plan for 12 turbines at "Brechfa Forest East", the area north of Abergorlech on the top of the Llanllwni mountain. The size of this proposal is such that it will be handled by the Carmarthenshire County Council planners. Click here to see a description of these proposals on Npower's website.

RES have applied for a monitoring mast at Banc Melyn near Bryn Llewelyn farm. Their plans may be for over 30 turbines which means that proposal would also be handled by the IPC. This indicates that Npower and RES may be working together. Click here to see a map of the SSA G with the locations of the monitoring towers marked in red. 

The following has been copied from the IPC website:

Tips for the public – how to have your say!

If you are going to be affected by a project, ensure you have your say:
Now…

Faulty blades at the newly installed Blaengwen (Alltwalis) wind farm

Local residents tell us that twelve blades will have to be replaced due to faults. The new ones will be slightly smaller than the originals. They were informed by the developers in a letter on Friday, November 6.

This 10-turbine wind farm near Pencader in Carmarthenshire was completed by October 2009. 

Click here to see photographs from the construction site.

 


Article by Andrew Gilligan
Published in the
Sunday Telegraph,1 November 2009

Uproar over new planning rules to help build wind farms and nuclear power stations

Radical changes to the planning system to help build wind farms, nuclear power stations and new roads are likely to cause a storm of protest across Britain, Andrew Gilligan reports.

“Powerless: opponents of the wind farms of Brechfa and Lanllwni feel they are being ignored and “pushed out of the way.”

The small Welsh village of Brechfa, about ten miles north-east of Carmarthen, has lost its post office and pub – but, if two power companies have their way, it will soon be getting 76 new wind turbines.

Each will rise as high as 145 metres, the height of a 35-storey building, and they will ring the area, making it home to the third-biggest collection of turbines in Britain. There are ten nearby already. Up close, the noise they make is like an idling aircraft.

For the full article go to:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/planning/6475795/

Uproar-over-new-planning-rules-to-help-build-wind-farms-and-nuclear-power-stations.html

October 2009: Brechfa Forest Wind Farm "Community Liaison Group"

Npower, the developers for the nearly completed Blaengwen (Alltwalis) wind farm and two other proposed wind farms in the Brechfa Forest area, have hired a public relation firm, Quatro, to set up a ‘community liaison’ group. The stated aim of this undertaking is to establish a ‘useful two-way dialogue’ with the local community. But Quatro is working for the developers, so the bias is in favour of wind farm development in the Brechfa Forest area. It seems that the real, un-stated, purpose of the group is to try to smooth the way for the developers by making wind farms more palatable to local residents.

The terms of reference make it quite clear that the meeting was not to be a forum for support or objection and that ‘disruptive behaviour’ would not be tolerated. Perhaps Npower and Quatro felt these warnings were necessary in view of the strength of opposition to wind farm developments in the Brechfa Forest area.

The Mynydd Llansadwrn Group was invited by Quatro to attend the first meeting of the ‘Brechfa Forest Wind Farm Community Liaison Group', on 1st October. We refused to attend because we did not want to lend any credibility to such a group by our participation. However, that did not stop some of us from attending a protest demonstration outside the Pencader community centre while the meeting was being held.

About thirty people showed up to show their displeasure. There was model of a wind turbine, banners and music and no disruptive behaviour. There was an equal number of people inside the building attending the meeting. They were given a presentation of Npower’s vision for the future of Brechfa Forest as an industrial wind power installation, and then the meeting was opened to questions and answers. There was no opportunity to discuss an alternative vision for the Brechfa Forest. The date and venue for the next meeting has yet to be decided.

Background:

The ancient Brechfa Forest, according to the Welsh Assembly, is an ideal setting for giant wind turbines. If the Assembly has its way, about 40 to 50 turbines (about 90MW) will be built and the landscape of the Brechfa Forest will be changed forever. Click here to access the Forestry Commission's website on Brechfa.

The forest has been identified as Strategic Search Area G in TAN8. Click here to see the Ordnance Survey map of the forest and a map of the area as shown in the TAN8 document,  Click here to read more about TAN 8, the purpose of which is to adopt new planning guidelines that will facilitate the development of locations for wind turbines in Wales.

In a subsequent document issued by the Carmarthenshire planning department in 2006, the area for wind turbine development is extended outside the TAN 8 SSA G  (shown by the solid red line below). The extended area, as defined by the document and shown below by the dotted red line, covers 135 square miles, extending south almost to the A40, west of the A485 to Llandysul, north to the A482, and east to the B4802, near Talley. Obviously, wind farm development in this area will have an affect on all of us in Carmarthenshire. Wind turbines will be visible for many miles and bring dramatic changes to the local landscape. The Forestry Commission has chosen Npower as the preferred developer.

Click here for an article that appeared in the October 2006 edition of The Post, a local community magazine published by PostDatum, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire.

Latest information (July 2009) from Npower is that 32 turbines are planned for the Mynydd Tre Beddau site uphill from the Blaengwen turbines. Npower have had approval for a monitoring mast due to go up possibly in August 2009. 

11 turbines are planned in the area north of Abergorlech on the top of the Llanllwni mountain. RES have applied for a monitoring mast at Banc Melyn near Bryn Llewelyn farm. This indicates that Npower and RES may be working together. Click here to see a map of the SSA G with the locations of the monitoring towers marked in red. 

On July 30, 2009, a meeting was held in Abergorlech to inform local residents of the threat and to discuss the situation. More than 100 people attended. On September 3, a second meeting was held in Llansawel with a similar attendance.

On Wednesday, November 4th, a third meeting was held at 7.30pm in the Brechfa Church Hall to inform local residents of the threat. About 50 local residents attended.

The mountain bike routes near Abergorlech on the Forestry land are being targeted by RWE- Npower for 11 of the 43 turbines on top of Brechfa Forest. They could be up to 145 metres high. Click here to join the blog on this subject.

It is now clear that the construction of turbines at Blaengwen near Pencader on the western edge of Brechfa Forest will facilitate access to the rest of the forest for developers. Click here to see photos of Blaengwen (now called Alltwalis) wind farm while under construction.

For more details contact the local campaign organiser at admin@brechfaforestenergyactiongroup.com

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