Wind testing mast an ‘unacceptable intrusion’

By Chris Betteley   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 3rd May 2022 10:34 am
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A TEMPORARY testing mast linked to proposals for a controversial wind farm proposed near the Cambrian Mountains and close to Ceredigion’s border with Powys has been approved by planners despite several objections which labelled the development “an unacceptable intrusion in a very magnificent, open, wild area.”

Linked to the Lluest y Gwynt wind farm project, the installation and operation of a temporary meteorological testing mast for a period of three years to measure wind speed and wind direction has been approved by Ceredigion County Council planners.

The proposed wind farm of up to 13 turbines with the capacity to generate 54MW is near the highest point of the Cambrian Mountains – Pumlumon – and close to the village of Ponterwyd.

The temporary mast to measure wind speeds at the site will measure 81.5m with metrological instruments at varying heights and includes bird markers to attach to guy lines to protect wildlife.

“The proposed masts will measure the wind speed and direction at a height comparable with the anticipated hub height of the wind turbines, should a scheme proceed to the development planning stage,” a design and access statement indicates.

There were a number of objections to the mast proposal including from the trustees of the Cambrian Mountains Society, Open Spaces Society and Ramblers Cymru as well as concerns about the impact on nearby protected areas and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

There was also opposition when plans for the wind farm first came to light in 2020.

The Open Spaces Society said the mast “will be an unacceptable intrusion in a very magnificent, open, wild area.”

“In particular it is to be sited on common land where the public has the right to walk, and this development will impede the public’s access, and destroy the feeling of wilderness and beauty,” they said.

Ramblers Cymru said the mast would have a “significant adverse affect on the landscape”, while the Cambrian Mountains Society said the mast would damage nature conservation, public rights of access and the landscape.

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