A COMPANY is to apply to put up three 115-metres tall wind turbines close to an area of outstanding beauty.
The application to Flintshire Council says that the turbines would be built on land close to Ffrith y Garreg-wen, which is between Lloc and Caerwys.
If approved, the turbines would stand higher that the tallest building in Wales – The Tower, Meridian Quay in Swansea – which is 107 metres tall.
Applicants West Coast Energy, whose headquarters are in Mold, has announced it is to hold a public exhibition next week giving residents a chance to learn more about the development.
The application follows one made earlier this year by Flintshire Wind Energy, a subsidiary of West Coast Energy, which wanted to erect a temporary 80-metre mast.
The application was refused by Flintshire Council’s planning committee.
West Coast Energy said it had appealed to the planning inspectorate over the decision, and was awaiting a decision.
The company wanted to use the land to house the ‘anemometer’ mast, which monitors wind speed and direction to assess suitability for wind farms.
It could have paved the way for a proposed wind farm if deemed suitable.
Caerwys councillor Jim Falshaw admitted he had not heard about the plans, and was surprised they were going to be lodged without an anemometer being put into place first.
“They have to do a test for three years to see if it is viable,” he said.
Speaking previously about the original application, Cllr Falshaw said: “It would be a travesty if a wind farm was to go there.
“I regard the land in question as a gateway to North Wales. It offers a beautiful view and I feel very strongly about it.
“We have to protect our land and our scenery. Tourism is very important for Wales.”
West Coast Energy say that each turbine would generate enough renewable electricity to meet the annual domestic electricity consumption for about 3,200 homes.
Steve Salt, the company’s planning and public affairs director, said: “We welcome the opportunity to speak to local residents, councillors, organisations and local businesses about our renewable energy generation plans and for our proposed investment in the area.
“West Coast Energy is committed to the principle that local communities should benefit financially from the generation of locally produced renewable energy.”
At the meeting, West Coast Energy will outline plans for the proposals, along with ideas about helping the community close to the site.
West Coast Energy say that residents would receive an annual guaranteed payment of £5,000 for each megawatt of installed generation capacity, or 10 per cent of profits from the wind farm in a community benefit fund.
Mr Salt added: “Based upon a three turbine development with an installed capacity of 6MW, it is estimated that there would be a community benefit fund of a minimum of £1 million over the life of the wind farm allowing for inflation, with an expectation that this amount will be exceeded by the 10 per cent profit-sharing mechanism.
“West Coast Energy is committed to ensuring the economic and social benefits arising from its wind farms are spread as widely as possible through society and is working to ensure local communities benefit from, and have more of a stake in, hosting wind energy projects.”
It is proposed that part of the community benefit fund will initially be targeted towards initiatives that help tackle fuel poverty and that in the first five years, up to 50 per cent of the fund will be used for this purpose.
A local community development trust or committee will then decide whether to continue targeting fuel poverty or fund other initiatives.
Jimmy Pugh, project coordinator for National Energy Action Cymru, will also attend the meeting to offer energy advice to customers.
The meeting will take place at Caerwys Golf Club on Monday from 3pm to 8pm.