Council acts to protect AONB from wind turbines
Anglesey councillors will afford greater protection to the Island’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) by opposing the development of medium or large sized wind turbines.
he decision was taken during a debate on the draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) document on Onshore Wind Energy at a meeting of the full County Council earlier today (Thursday, January 24th).
Wind energy has been a controversial and hotly debated topic on Anglesey in recent months with several communities opposed to proposed turbine developments.
Members supported two amendments to the draft SPG which were proposed by Councillor Hywel Eifion Jones, namely that:
- for wind turbines over 20 metres the separation distance from residential or tourism properties will be the greater of 500 metres or 20 times tip height (in metres)
- medium or large wind turbines with Anglesey’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or within 2km will not be supported
Further amendments from Cllr Aled Morris Jones and Cllr Elwyn Schofield were also backed.
Cllr Jones proposed that the cumulative effect of wind turbines on individual areas should also be considered; whilst Cllr Schofield proposed that developers must submit a bond before planning permission is released to ensure sites used for wind generation were properly cleared once a turbine became redundant.
Following the meeting, Council Leader Cllr Bryan Owen, stressed, “The strength of feeling against these huge wind turbines in communities across the length and breadth of Anglesey is clear. More than 8,000 people signed a petition opposing them during the recent SPG consultation process. As councillors, we have a duty to represent our constituents and the Island. Today, I believe we have listened and acted in the best interest of the people and Anglesey as a whole.”
Officers will now review the implications of changes adopted today in order to decide whether or not the decision should be reviewed by Welsh Government Commissioners.
Notes to Editors:
Due to the extraordinary public interest in the subject and the breadth of opposing views regarding wind turbines, planning officers decided that a new SPG would be of benefit to clarify the supporting evidence required with applications and the key issues that need to be addressed with such applications and defend planning appeals.
The Council has undertaken two Public Consultation exercises upon a Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) for On-shore Wind Turbines. When adopted this document will supplement the existing planning policy framework contained in the Gwynedd Structure Plan (1993) and the Ynys Môn Local Plan (1996) as well as the stopped UDP (2005), which is a material planning consideration for development control purposes.
The Anglesey AONB is the second largest in Wales. It covers an area of 21,500 hectares - approximately a third of the island. Most of the 201 km coastline of Anglesey is located within the AONB.