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Wind farm plans turned down

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windfarmDEVELOPERS have expressed their deep disappointment at the decision of the County Council’s Planning Committee to reject an application for the erection of five wind turbines near Rhoscrowther.

Rhoscrowther Wind Farm, which marks an overall capital investment of £17m, was refused by the Council’s Planning and Rights of Way Committee on Tuesday January 20.

The decision follows a recommendation to refuse by Pembrokeshire County Council Planners.

Despite the Council’s own landscape consultant stating that they consider the scheme to be broadly acceptable and no objections from statutory consultees including CADW, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, the refusal has been made on grounds of historic environment as well as landscape and visual impact.

The developer, Rhoscrowther Wind Farm Limited has drawn attention to the findings of the Council’s own landscape consultant, who said: “On balance, however I would still consider this scheme to be broadly acceptable but would be wary of ensuring that this would not set a precedent for further similar development… Should the scheme be refused and go to an appeal, I consider it could be difficult to contest on landscape and visual grounds.”

Steven Radford of Rhoscrowther Wind Farm Ltd commented: “I’m obviously disappointed with the Committee’s decisions to reject our project, however we are confident that not only is Rhoscrowther Wind Farm a suitable and appropriate development with regard to substantial national (PPW), local (Local Plan) and site specific (SPG) policy support for turbines in this location but also one which provides significant economic and social benefits to an area in great need of both. Since submitting our application we have worked hard to engage the local community and wider stakeholders including the South Wales Chamber of Commerce and Pembrokeshire College. If consented, we made the commitment to front-end the last five years of the project’s community benefit, which has allowed for approximately £300,000 being made available as soon as construction begins. This will help fund capital projects brought forward by local community groups, such as the Pembroke and Pembroke Dock Amateur Boxing Club.”

Rhoscrowther Wind Farm is committed to providing £1.56m for local community projects if it is granted planning consent. This means that £62,500 will be made available each year once the project is in construction for local community groups to apply for.

Local resident, Paul Barnikel stated: “I am perhaps the closest resident to the scheme with my house looking directly onto the site of the proposed wind farm. Even then I have no objection towards the project whatsoever and in fact fully support it. What better place for a wind farm than one in front of an oil refinery?”

Addressing Tuesday’s meeting, local resident Keith Bradley pointed out that a similar scheme had been previously rejected by the Planning Inspectorate as having an unacceptable visual impact on the environment: “Five 110 metre turbines placed on this site is a vast increase on the development that was previously rejected. The same criteria should apply here.”

Quoting from the manifesto of County lClr John Allen-Mirehouse, Mr Bradley continued by pointing out the content of Mr Mirehouse’s manifesto in 2012’s election when he stated that the visual impact of the development that was rejected was ‘so great, we must turn it down.’”

Before he could further develop the theme of just how dramatically and mysteriously Mr Mirehouse’s views had changed, Mr Bradley was cut off.

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Trial date for son accused of killing mum

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THE SON of Judith Rhead, 68, who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Feb 20 will now appear in Crown Court again in October.

Dale Morgan, 43, said to be a scout master, appeared in court only to confirm his name, date of birth and address – which was listed as Honeyborough Green, Neyland.

A plea and trial preparation hearing date was set for March 26 with a provisional trial date set for October 4.

He was remanded in custody.

In court papers it stated that the alleged murder took place between December 10, 2020 and February 21, 2021.

The paperwork demonstrates that the police are unsure of the exact date that Ms Rhead died. The large date range, two months, points to the likelihood that this will be a challenging case for all those involved.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Business

Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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