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Solar farm near Pembroke Dock expected to be refused

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PLANS for a south Pembrokeshire solar farm, which the applicants say could generate enough power for 2,500 homes, are expected to be turned down next week.

The plans for a nine-megawatt solar farm at West Farm, Cosheston, near Pembroke Dock have been made by James Wallwork of One Planet Developments Limited on land adjoining an existing solar farm.

The scheme is recommended for refusal when it comes before Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, meeting on February 13, despite the support of Cosheston Community Council, which sys the plans would be a natural rounding-off of the site, with no detrimental impact as it would neighbour the existing solar farm.

A supporting statement, through agent Mango Planning & Development Ltd, says the works, together with associated infrastructure, will occupy three fields, the site extending to 9.9 hectares, and will operate for a 40-year period if granted.

The arrays will be connected by underground cabling to an inverter which is required to convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the panels, into alternating current (AC) as required to feed into the grid.

“The proposed development is a key technology in the transition of the Welsh energy system to a resilient, low carbon, and independent energy system powered by renewables.”

It adds: “The proposed development would contribute circa 9,337,000 KWh of renewable electricity to the local area, which will typically produce enough green electricity a year to power about 2,500 homes.

“The proposed development is for a temporary 40-year timescale and will be fully reinstated at the end of its operational life. There will be no loss of agricultural land.”

Objections have been received from the council’s landscape officer, on adverse impact grounds, and from three objectors, citing a visual intrusion of the landscape, the proposal would double the size of the existing solar farm, and on highway safety.

The application is recommended for refusal on the grounds it “would result in an adverse visual impact on, and erosion of the rural landscape of, the Cosheston Peninsula and the proposed mitigation [planting trees and additional hedgerow material along the south, west and northern boundaries] would not overcome these concerns.”

Charity

Thousands enjoy RNLI Lifeboat Festival at Pembroke Castle

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ON Father’s Day (Jun 16), more than 1,650 people descended on Pembroke Castle for a day of family fun at to mark 200 years of saving lives at sea for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The medieval venue played host to the RNLI’s Lifeboat Festival and opened its gates for the public to meet local lifesavers and have fun while learning how to stay safe in the water with the RNLI Water Safety team.

Revellers enjoyed live music from Goodwick Brass Band, Henry Tudor School (Ysgol Harri Tudur) who showcased highlights from their upcoming performance of Peter Pan, Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir, shanty band Cockles and Mussels, Tenby Male Voice Choir, folk rockers Razor Bill, and Calico Jack.

The RNLI has been saving lives at sea for more than 200 years, in which time its volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved 146,452 lives – this equates to an average of two lives saved every day for 200 years.

The charity was founded in a London tavern on 4 March 1824 following an appeal from Sir William Hillary, who lived on the Isle of Man and witnessed many shipwrecks, the RNLI has continued saving lives at sea throughout the tests of its history, including tragic disasters, funding challenges and two World Wars.

Two centuries have seen vast developments in the lifeboats and kit used by the charity’s lifesavers – from the early oar-powered vessels to today’s technology-packed boats, which are now built in-house by the charity; and from the rudimentary cork lifejackets of the 1850s to the full protective kit each crew member is now issued with.

The RNLI’s lifesaving reach and remit has also developed over the course of 200 years. Today, it operates 238 lifeboat stations, including four on the River Thames, and has seasonal lifeguards on over 240 lifeguarded beaches around the UK and Ireland. It designs and builds its own lifeboats and runs domestic and international water safety programmes.

While much has changed in 200 years, two things have remained the same – the charity’s dependence on volunteers, who give their time and commitment to save others, and the voluntary contributions from the public which have funded the service for the past two centuries.

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Community

Renewed partnership safeguards access and conservation at Castlemartin

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A NEW agreement has been made to provide continued funding for a Ranger Service on the Military Ranges of South Pembrokeshire.

Senior leaders and staff from Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority met recently at the Castlemartin Range to renew their longstanding partnership, which ensures safe and sustainable access and recreational opportunities for the public, while safeguarding the area’s unique and rare wildlife which thrives alongside military training.

Those attending the meeting, which was hosted by Lt Col Richard Pope and Major John Poole, were able to experience this for themselves at Stack Rocks, where the colonies of razorbills and guillemots are gathering at the start of the breeding season.

Current Castlemartin Ranger, Lynne Houlston, explains: “This role is not only vital in ensuring that the area remains accessible to the public when military use allows, but also that the many rare and special plants, birds and animals of the Range are safeguarded.”

These include chough, marsh fritillary butterflies, grey seals, green winged orchids and spectacular colonies of seabirds, especially during the breeding season.

Part of Lynne’s role is to ensure that people can visit and use the Ranges for activities like climbing while ensuring that they do not disturb the nesting sites of these protected species.

Clare Pillman, Chief Executive of NRW said: “Working with our partners to ensure this role and partnership agreement continues is so important to us at Natural Resources Wales. The conservation of the many special species found at Castlemartin Range is vital to ensure their sustainability in the future. The Ranger role enables this to happen alongside allowing visitors to enjoy the beautiful landscape for recreational purposes, which has benefits for wellbeing and allows nature and people to thrive together.”

Chief Executive of the Park Authority, Tegryn Jones, said: “We are delighted to welcome the renewal of this important partnership. The Castlemartin Range offers some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Wales, and it’s vital that we ensure this can be enjoyed by visitors in a way that protects its special wildlife. The Ranger plays a crucial role in achieving this balance, and this renewed commitment will ensure that the Castlemartin Range can continue to be a place where people and nature thrive.”

DIO Principal Environmental Manager, Richard Brooks said: “DIO is delighted to be joining NRW and PCNPA in signing the next iteration of this important partnership. Lynne has been in post for 21 years and, supported by a Seasonal Ranger, has clearly demonstrated the key benefits of this joint funded Ranger Service. The role plays a key part in the successful integration of public access, wildlife management and monitoring and military training and activity”.

Several guided walks taking in the history, wildlife and archaeology of the Castlemartin Range are planned for the summer months. To find out more and book a place, visit www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/events.

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Crime

Youth arrested for racially aggravated common assault in Haverfordwest

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE are appealing for witnesses to a racially aggravated assault which occurred in Tesco, Haverfordwest on Tuesday June 11, at about 7.30am.

Police are seeking any independent witnesses who may be able to assist with the investigation.

One male, aged 18, was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and has since been bailed pending further enquiries.

Did you witness the assault or have any information that could help officers with their investigation? If so, get in touch, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

Quote ref: 24000517855

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