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Substation built without planning



residents concernResidents concern about solar farm development

LOCAL residents in Lower Thornton, Milford Haven, have expressed concerns about a solar power development that will engulf three farms and may have an adverse effect on the health of those closely situated to it.

Speaking with The Herald, local campaigner Lynne Hughes described the situation: “We knew of the development, but this was supposed to be located some way further down the field facing my home. However, six weeks ago we saw the company, Good Energy Generation Ltd, had started to build the electricity sub-station a hundred metres from our house. We understand this was because they were originally too close to the Murco pipeline.”

She went on to question whether or not the energy company had planning permission for this move.

“I spoke to planning officer Simon Hughes who said he didn’t know anything about it. He advised us he would take pictures and refer it back to his office and overseeing case officer Mike Simmonds.

“Eventually, after sending them two emails, they came back to me advising that they had applied for planning permission and we, the residents, had until the April 3 to contest this. This gave us just four weeks which we question. Is this a long enough period and, indeed, as this is surely an industrial project, should we not be entitled to a longer period of consultation before planning permission is granted?”

Lynne Hughes said she was surprised that on the original planning application a question asking whether local residents had been contacted or not had been ticked ‘No’ by Good Energy and that “they appear to have just gone ahead and built it anyway”.

She told The Herald that a petition signed by over a hundred residents that was handed in to a council planning meeting was ‘just ignored’.

Asked what her concerns over this development were, she said:

“The question to the council is are they aware of the potential health risks posed by this development?”

In response to these concerns, Pembrokeshire County Council responded: “The application by Good Energy Rose Cottage for a Solar Photovoltaic Farm on land at Rose Cottage Farm, Woodson Farm and Tierson Farm at Tiers Cross, was approved by the Planning and Rights of Way Committee on October 1, 2013, and included the building of an electrical sub-station.

“However, although they had been consulted prior to the application being considered and raised no objections, Murco subsequently voiced concerns that the sub-station was within 10 metres of a pipeline. As a result, Good Energy submitted an application on February 18 to re-site the sub-station a further 120 metres from the pipeline. That application is currently being considered. If work has begun on constructing the sub-station prior to the issuing of planning permission, then that is at the developer’s own risk”.

Scientific surveys have suggested that solar power can pose certain health risks to people with special disabilities, including adverse effects on children with ADHD. Mrs Hughes pointed out that she has family that could be directly affected by this.

A meeting has been arranged for all residents to have their say on the matter next Wednesday, March 26, at the Christian Fellowship Church in Milford Haven.

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Tribute to Lola James, age 2, from Haverfordwest



DAN THOMAS, the father of two-year-old Lola James from Haverfordwest, who sadly died in hospital on July 21, has paid tribute to his daughter.

He told the media: “From the very first time I met my beautiful daughter, Lola Patricia James, my heart was filled with such joy, a happiness I’d never felt before, an unconditional love and need to always protect her for the rest of her life.

“Not in a millions years did I think her life would be snatched away from her in such a cruel way.

“All the things she never had chance to learn, see or say, and all the things I will never have chance to teach her – to write her name, ride a bike or drive a car.

“Lola, you have left a hole in the hearts of everyone you met. Your sparkly eyes and beautiful smile will be missed always.

“I would like to thank every doctor, nurse and healthcare assistant that not only helped Lola, but threw everything they had at her to try and save her life.

“To the staff at Noah’s Ark, Cardiff, you truly were amazing.

“Rest in peace has never been so meaningful to me, but rest now Lola, whilst Daddy seeks the justice you deserve.”

Two people have been arrested in connection with the matter, and police are still investigating at Lola’s home address.

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Milford Haven: ‘Unnerving droning sound’ coming from LNG tanker



RESIDENTS of Milford Haven and Hakin have been complaining on social media about the noise coming from an LNG tanker berthed at the South Hook LNG terminal.

The Bu Samra arrived in Milford Haven at 10am on Tuesday (Aug 4) and there has been a noise, described as sounding like a distant droning helicopter, or low vibrating sound ever since.

The sound is caused by the reliquefication plant compressors on the 163,000-tonne vessel as she is waiting to offload her cargo of liquefied natural gas.

It is not the first time that there have been complaints. Eleven years ago, in 2009, official complaints were made to Pembrokeshire County Council over a similar vessel, the Tembrek.

At the time officials from South Hook LNG said: “South Hook would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the sound residents may have heard coming from the LNG Carrier since its berthing
“This is due only to this particular phase of the initial commissioning as she is keeping her cargo in a liquefied state.
“In the meantime, the Master… will do everything he can to minimise the impact of the sound on local residents.”

Local marine expert Berty Barrett said on Facebook: “All part of living alongside these oil and gas installations.”

Sianie Roberts, a Hakin resident, commented: “It’s really unnerving. Never heard anything like it before for so long a period.”

South Hook has been contacted for a comment.

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Haverfordwest: Primary school teacher accused of 34 sexual assaults



A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher was in court on Monday (Aug 3) accused of 34 sexual assaults.

James Oulton, 34, of Richmond Crescent, denies all the charges.

Oulton, who was granted a continuation to his bail, was represented in court by his barrister Chris Clee QC.

The case is listed for administrative hearings in November and the trial date is provisionally set for April 12, 2021.

Oulton is currently suspended from work at Mary Immaculate School.

It is understood that the case does not involve children who are pupils at the Roman Catholic primary school.

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