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Towering turbines must go

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Height issue: Wind turbines are taller than the agreed planning permission • Pic: M Hillen

Height issue: Wind turbines are taller than the agreed planning permission • Pic: M Hillen

A RETROSPECTIVE planning application for two wind turbines, which were built higher than they should have been, has been turned down.

Permission was granted in April 2012 for two turbines measuring at 23 metres to hub and 34.9 metres to blade tip.

However, the turbines, located in Lammas Farm near Wolfscastle, Haverfordwest, have been built at 29 metres to hub and 39.7 metres to blade tip.

The application for the turbines came before the Planning and Rights of Way Committee on Tuesday, January 19 with a recommendation of approval.

Some councillors felt that the increase in size would not be a problem and one councillor said they were hamstrung by the fact that permission was already in place.

There were also concerns that the turbines were located just 120 metres from a bridleway when the British Horse Society recommends a safe distance of 200 metres.

Wolfscastle Community Council also objected to the application as they felt the turbines should have been built to the height that was originally granted.

Cllr Brian Hall moved the recommendation for approval saying: “It’s already got consent and what would concern me is that if we refuse this today this will go to appeal and the inspector will approve it on the basis it’s been approved before.”

The recommendation was then seconded by Cllr Ken Rowlands.

Cllr Jacob Williams asked how the council had become aware that the turbines had been built taller than they should have been.

The council’s case officer replied: “Consent was granted in April 2012 and there was some email correspondence from January 2013 where it had come to light that the turbines erected on the site appeared to be bigger than when they were approved. The delay has been caused by a lot of correspondence and they told us that they had erected the turbines in error.”

It was also suggested that, if approved, the application should be delegated to the Head of Planning to await a response from the Civil Aviation Authority who were listed as a consultee in the report.

Cllr Keith Lewis said: “I feel quite uncomfortable as there is some resemblance to the application we have just dealt with a house that was higher than the permission granted.

“If a turbine is bigger, the potential impact is always going to be greater and these turbines are five metres higher than what was granted so that does cause me some concern.

“I do think that simply because it was passed then that it necessarily follows that a higher turbine shouldn’t fall awry of that.”

Cllr Rod Bowen added: “The British Horse Society recommends a safe distance of 200m and the fact that nothing has happened is not good enough. It is important for us to take into consideration that the bridleway should be moved 80m to accommodate this particular problem.”

Cllr Tony Brinsden said: “I am totally opposed to this. I have a feeling that this is an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes.

“Built in error! I can’t believe that for one second. It’s not like putting up a Wendy house, this is a massive turbine erection and to say it is built in error is a load of codswallop.”

Cllr Gwilym Price said he was also concerned and added that nobody would make the mistake of a few metres.

Cllr Myles Pepper said: “I don’t agree with the impact being moderate, to me this is a high impact but I think we are hamstrung by the fact that permission is in place.”

Cllr Peter Stock said he also felt uneasy and added that developers should abide by the application they put in.

After a lengthy debate, the recommendation for approval was lost by six votes to seven.

A motion for refusal, on the basis of visual impact, was then put forward by Cllr Peter Morgan and that was supported by seven votes to six.

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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