Parish Clerk

Public Consultation - proposed Solar Farm Rhosygadfa

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I don't even consider economy here Bethan.    I am all for green energy but not in beautiful and agricultural locations.  

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Now they want to erect a 20-METER MAST to enable SP Energy to shut down the Solar Farm in the event of a fault!!!

Supposed to be temporary until broadband option becomes reliable ! What a laugh!! Why don't Elgin install a fibre-optic connection direct underground to the 'Green' box at the Rhewl!!

These 'Temporary' solutions' ALWAYS end up being permanent!-

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Article in The Advertiser today :

 

Solar Farm : We need to put up a 20-metre mast

A CONTROVERSIAL solar farm near Gobowen could become “unviable” unless further planning permission is granted.

Elgin Energy received the go-ahead for 20,000-panel green energy scheme at Rhosygadfa 12 months ago.

But it is now looking for further approval of a 20-metre telecoms mast to provide an internet connection to transfer data from the solar farm to the substation at Ifton.

And it is against the clock as the site must be commissioned before March 31.

Agents Berrys said that after that date a “notable fall” in the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROCs) will “render the project unviable”.

They continued: “The connection will allow SP Energy Networks to shut down the solar farm in the event of a fault. The applicant has explored all avenues to avoid the requirement for a telecoms mast at the site, however, BT have confirmed a fibre connection won’t be installed before March 31 and Scottish Power have confirmed a satellite broadband option is not reliable enough and, as such, is not a viable option.

“In the short term, the only viable option is the installation of a temporary mast.”

The mast will only be temporary as BT is expected to provide fibre broadband to the site in the next six to 18 months.

 voicing concerns that it could impact the aesthetics of the area and damage tourism.The solar farm has caused unrest in Rhosygadfa and Gobowen with many residents and Councillors

It was submitted and granted following the refusal of a 40,000 solar panel installation on the site.

 

I understand the application was submitted on the 16th December and the ref is 16/05607/FUL

 
   

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Hi Bethan,

What on earth is going on here?   The controversial solar farm was refused permission on appeal by the Secretary of State, so what on earth is a mast required for when there is and I hope never will be a solar farm in that area of outstanding natural beauty? 

The application sounds very suspicious as surely it would not be financially viable to erect a mast for general public use internet connections for such a short period. if BT are proposing to lay proper cables within the next 18 months.

Happy New Year,,

Rob

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I hope those of the community who care for our beautiful landscape will attend the meeting in the Gobowen Playing Fields Pavilion at 7pm next Tuesday the 17th January to appeal against the erection of the proposed 20 meter (65.5 feet) high mast on farmland in beautiful Rhosygadfa.  I am sure we are all in favour of solar energy on roof tops and on factory sites etc., but not on prime agricultural land and especially in such a beautiful area of our lovely county.   Agricultural land should be for just that; the production of food for and not turned into industrial sites.

Rhosygadfa is a particularly beautiful part of our county and should not be allowed to be spoiled by industrial usage.

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Solar Farm Public Meeting held Tuesday 17th January 2017

Many attended a lively debate chaired by the Parish Council Chairman.

Comments were made regarding lack of notification, poor communication and shortness of time of the new planning application.

The installation site will now contain 18,800 solar panels (previously 20,000) changing the layout from the original application drawings to ensure maximum light reaching the panels.

There are many questions left unanswered and it was regrettable that the chairman curtailed the meeting when he did.

Many lorries delivering to the site are not following the route agreed by the Shropshire Planning resulting in serious road and property damage. Questions asked included:

What was done inform hauliers of the route to the site? Were drivers of delivery vehicles made aware of the route, maps, written instructions etc.? What will be done to prevent future occurrences?

The agreed route to site requires vehicles to go to the Gledrid roundabout and head for St. Martins.  Major road works is about to start there which will take 6 months. Have the hauliers been informed of this, given assurances and that it must not affect the agreed route to the site?

Why were no signs put up to help avoid large vehicles travelling down very narrow lanes?

Who is responsible for repairing the damaged caused and sweeping the roads?

It was announced that BT will install an underground fiber optic connection to the site within 6 months and that they had been paid a very substantial sum in advance to encourage this, suggesting that the 65 ft mast  could be removed during 2017.

This will obviate the need for the three year period requested in the planning application.

This provoked a lot of scepticism, and it was considered that this announcement, at the 11th hour, was only made to appease the audience. Many questions were left unanswered which include:

      What has been agreed with BT?

 Is the delivery time of 6 months from the time BT start the contract? If so, what is the

start date?

 What has been negotiated with BT regarding the end date?

As payment to BT has already been made, are there compensation clauses in the

contract for failure to complete on time?

Have BT secured a planning agreement with all concerned for the fiber optic route (reported as being 3 Km long!)? If not, how long is this likely to be?

 Like in other areas, can the laying of cables etc. be subcontracted so that BT need only be

only involved in the connection?

What is the effect of the emissions from the mast on mobile phone reception, which is

already very poor?

Will these emissions have an adverse effect on wild life?

If permission is granted to erect the mast, what incentive will there be for it to be

dismantled in 2017 even if BT provide the connection?

The impression given was that the mast would only be needed for a matter of a few months. This being the case, is it not possible to negotiate an extension to the 31st March, for the ROC to be allocated?

Clarification of the above is crucial in securing the shortest possible time should a mast be the only option. There was considerable concern that if/when the mast is erected, and bearing in mind BT’s poor performances in complying with their promises, it will be visible for many years even after the fiber connection is made.

OBJECTIONS MUST BE MADE ON GRANTING PLANNING PERMISSION

 UNTIL ALL QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED IN WRITING

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Have you seen the latest!!

BT (openreach) - regarding providing a broadband connection to the site, are "looking at having the work complete by no later than 30/06/2017. We will provide you with progress updates as the job progresses."

No-one will bet on this happening! Based on their performance to date!

Nick Willians (Berry's) now says that " the mast and related foundations will be removed from the site prior to 12th October 2017 regardless of whether a fiber connection is on site or not.."

It, therefore, begs the question why put it up in the first place???  

Why did they seem so dependent on BT providing a connection in the first place???

Robmit likes this

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Thanks Bethan for keeping us updated and I agree with your comments.

What has happened with our community spirit I wonder as there seems to be little interest in the area in general?   Having made that comment I was very pleased to such a good attendance at the actual meeting which comprised, as far as I could see, of true natives who care for our environment.

 

On my to and from Birmingham by train I pass a fairly similar in sized solar farm site around the Wellington area and it looks absolutely dreadful almost at the foot of the Wrekin and I hate the thought of our lovely area being desecrated in a similar way.

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