The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.
Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm
Received 09 June 2022
From Conwy County Borough Council
“The Council's response to the pre-application consultation was based on the proposal identified in the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) and focused on four main areas of concern: i) Seascape, landscape and visual impacts - The Council disagreed with the level of significance identified in the applicant's Seascape, Landscape and Visual Assessment, including from key settlements, the Wales Coastal Path, Seascape Character Areas and from the A55. Whilst the Council recognised that offshore wind energy would inevitably result in significant changes to coastal seascapes and views, it had concerns over the following impacts: First, the scale of both individual wind turbines and of the extent of the Awel y Mor array as a whole would result in a significantly greater visual impact from a number of viewpoints than views of the existing offshore wind farms. This in turn would cause the offshore wind farms to become the dominant feature in the seascape. Second, the proposed array would lie close to, and affect the setting of, a number of coastal landscape features, including the Great Orme (Heritage Coast and part of a Special Landscape Area and Historic Landscape) and the Little Orme (also part of a Special Landscape Area and Historic Landscape). It would significantly affect the seascape character, and detract from the appreciation of the coastal landscape feature. Third, the proposal would cause both sequential and in-combination cumulative effects with other offshore wind farms, including existing offshore wind farms, and this would increase the dominance and duration of windfarms as a seascape feature. Fourth, in the absence of a cumulative assessment with any future onshore wind farms (including those identified in Future Wales: The National Plan 2040), the SLVIA did not fully evaluate the cumulative effects. ii) Impacts on the tourism economy - It was unclear to what extent the conclusions in the PERI took account of the demographic profile of visitors to Llandudno and the County generally, or to the distinctive heritage and character which are critical in its attractiveness to that visitor profile. As such, the conclusions in relation to the magnitude of the impact were subject to a wide margin and uncertainty. iii) Impacts on the built environment and heritage - including the setting of Llandudno Pier, Llandudno Conservation Area and the Great Orme. It concurred with the conclusions of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust in relation to impacts on these assets. Furthermore, as noted in point iii), the development could potential cause a decline in visitor numbers, and this could in turn lead to a reduction in the frequency and quality of maintenance of the built fabric. Over time, such a deterioration would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the Llandudno Conservation Area and to the special features of interest of the listed buildings. iv) Impacts arising from construction works on the amenity of residents and visitors- only one sensitive noise receptor was identified in the PEIR, and no background noise level surveys had been carried out. The draft Requirement lacked clarity in respect of the maximum noise levels, the periods during which they wold apply, and the location of measurements. The Council will be reviewing its previous representations in the light of amendments to the scheme and the ES, and wishes to reserve the right to amplify or amend its representations.”