Appeal launched over plan for massive wind turbine in Ffrith

Reporter:

Owen Evans

A government inspector will decide whether plans for a wind turbine “twice the height of Chester Cathedral” should go ahead.

Nant Y Ffrith Wind Energy Ltd has lodged an appeal over plans to build a 77-metre wind turbine at Mount Farm, Ffrith.

The highly controversial plan was thrown out by Flintshire Council’s planning committee in October last year over flight safety fears.

But the applicant claims Hawarden Airport, which lodged objections to the proposal, “greatly exaggerated” the risks.

In documents submitted to the planning inspectorate, the applicant said: “Airports have a strong position in the planning system.

”They are statutory consultees and if they object to a proposal and cite ‘aircraft safety’ this carries considerable weight with planning officers and planning committee members.

”Whilst most airports may use this power responsibly, in the present case Hawarden Airport has greatly exaggerated the risk that the turbine would cause.”

The applicant said this was also the view of the Civil Aviation Authority, who said the wind turbine “should not adversely impact the airport”.

The applicant added: “In our opinion the CAA’s view is the definitive one, they are the acknowledged experts in this area.

”They wrote the safeguarding manual and they have the specialist safeguarding personnel who are continually involved in the inspection and certification of airports in the UK

”Accordingly we believe the decision to refuse planning consent for the proposed turbine was unreasonable.”

According to documents formulated by Flintshire Council last year, the CAA also stated that they had “no reason to disagree” with concerns from the airport.

Objections had also been lodged by Airbus over the proposals.

During last year’s planning meeting, serious concerns were raised by residents, Wrexham Council, Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami and the Joint Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Advisory Committee.

Serious concerns were also raised by local councillor Hilary Isherwood and Llanfynydd Community Council.

Ahead of the refusal being granted, Flintshire Council’s chief officer for planning and environment Andrew Farrow recommended the proposal be refused.

He said: “The need to meet wider environmental, social and economic benefits and opportunities for renewable energy does not outweigh the harm caused to flight safety and safe aircraft operations to and from Hawarden aerodrome and therefore the application should be refused.”

See full story in the Leader

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