Welcome to VAST
(Villages Against Supersize Turbines)
CARMARTHENSHIRE UNDER THREAT
WE CAN ACT TO STOP
two wind turbines as tall as a
close to Rhydcymerau, in rural Carmarthenshire
What is this?
A German company, Energiekontor, wants to erect two industrial scale wind turbines on Mynydd Pencarreg. They would be 100 metres/328 feet high – almost as tall as the tallest building in Wales (The Tower at Meridian Quay in Swansea) at 107 metres/351 feet.
Where is this?
The site is the south-westerly slope of Mynydd Pencarreg – just 700 metres away from a nationally important Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The turbines would be visible across a huge area – from the Teifi Valley to the north-west to the Cothi Valley to the south-east. If you can see the telecommunications mast on the top of the hill (which is 99 metres/324 feet high) then you would almost certainly see these two turbines.
They would be easily seen from homes in Rhydcymerau, Llanybydder, Parc-y-rhos and beyond Lampeter as well as from many other vantage points.
What is the problem?
So far, Carmarthenshire County Council has not granted planning permission for industrial-scale turbines outside of those areas designated for large-scale wind farms (i.e. Alltwalis (10 turbines) at 110 metres/360 feet, Brechfa West (28 turbines) and Brechfa East (12 turbines) both at 145 metres/474 feet – which are all in TAN8 Strategic Search Area (SSA) Area G).
If the Mynydd Pencarreg development is approved, it would set a precedent for similar industrial-scale turbines across the whole of the county. There are already plans for other large single turbines at Bryn Dafydd (Rhydcymerau), Cwmann, Salem and many other sites in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.
Turbines of this size and generating capacity are inappropriate in more undulating agricultural landscapes where they are completely out of proportion with their surroundings and dominate the countryside for miles around.
Turbines are extremely divisive to local communities. The only people to benefit from this development would be two landowners, Energiekontor (which would make in the region of £1 million per year) and their financiers. Meanwhile, the local people who stand to suffer most from noise and visual impact, disruption during the construction phase and decreased property prices are kept in the dark. Many of these people are fearful about speaking out
What can you do?
Don’t leave it to our very small, scattered communities to fight this alone. VAST is doing its best to stop this development and others – not just for us but for the whole of Carmarthenshire. However, our voice is small unless you add yours. Do you want your county to become dominated by such over-sized wind turbines?
Please support us
The developer’s application (W/31728) for the two turbines has now gone in (March 2015). An application has been made separately for a 60m wind mast (W/31702). The consultation period runs until after Easter (22nd April 2015).
VAST is distributing information across the local community and is asking people to send in letters of objection. Here are some of the objections which you may wish to make:
Proliferation around Rhydcymerau – the village is already set to be the closest community in Carmarthenshire to a large-scale wind farm. This proposal means that the village would be closely bracketed by wind farm scale turbines.
Damage to the outstanding landscape which includes an SSSI – the site is within an area of outstanding landscape habitat which lies in view of the Teifi Valley Special Landscape Area and is only 650m from an SSSI.
Visual impact – Two turbines of this exceptionally large size would have a seriously adverse impact on views from, for example, the well-used forest rides just over 1km to the SE.
Cumulative impact – these two turbines, added to the consented Brechfa East windfarm and the in-planning Bryn Dafydd 86.5m wind turbine, also very close to Rhydcymerau, would be over-bearing and create a “wind farm landscape” beyond the designated wind farm area of Brechfa Forest.
Additional abnormal loads and construction traffic on the A485 Carmarthen to Llanybydder road – the A485 is already facing a large increase in HGVs due to the construction of the Brechfa West wind farm. The proposed Mynydd Pencarreg turbines would add a further 1,300-plus lorry journeys, and 50 turbine transportation trips.
Lack of strategy outside of Strategic Search Areas (SSAs) – there is no ceiling on the numbers or sizes of turbines. Each development is treated on a case-by-case basis, potentially leading to a landscape characterised by giant turbines.
This link http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/english/environment/planning/applications/pages/publicityandconsultation.aspx tells you about the ways to send in your objections and what will appear on the council’s website.
What has VAST done previously?
VAST (Villages Against Supersize Turbines)was formed in October 2013 to represent objectors to supersize turbines in the Rhydcymerau, Esgairdawe and Llansawel area. The group only objects to industrial-size commercial wind turbines on inappropriate sites in the countryside. It does not protest against smaller wind turbines.
A public meeting organised by VAST at Llansawel Village Hall on 22 November 2013 was attended by over 80 people. Visual displays indicated the potential impact of the Bryn Dafydd turbine and also the 12 planned for Brechfa East.
VAST discovered that a significant number of local people had moved to the area unaware of the threat of the Brechfa East wind farm, close to Rhydcymerau. VAST is campaigning for better disclosure of wind farm areas and wind turbine applications to prospective buyers.
It has also represented the many local people who had no idea how close the Brechfa East wind farm would be to their homes and gathered their objections. In total, there were some 500 letters of objection.
VAST has used the time since the Bryn Dafydd turbine consultation period in 2013 (application as yet to be determined) to continue to research and submit detailed objections. It continues to pursue protection for local residents from harm and disruption from the future construction of the Brechfa East wind farm. VAST publishes updates on the Rhydcymerau village noticeboard.
Artist's Impression, scale approximately correct