APPLICATION NO. 07/2021/0684/ PF - LAND AT MYNYDD MYNYLLOD, LLANDRILLO, CORWEN
To consider an application for the erection of a 90m meteorological mast for a temporary period of three years at Land at Mynydd Mynyllod, Llandrillo, Corwen (copy attached).
An application was submitted for the Erection of a 90m meteorological mast for a temporary period of three years at Land at Mynydd Mynyllod, Llandrillo,
The Chair highlighted the extra information provided in the late supplementary papers.
Councillor Gwyneth Ellis (Local Member) appreciated the visual review of the proposed mast, which showed from where it would be visible. It demonstrated the mast would be seen clearly from Cynwyd and Llandrillo villages. She stressed residents had difficulty to differentiate this application with the potential future windfarm proposals. She emphasised her concern on the visual impact it would have on the nearby villages.
The Development Control Manager (DCM) thanked the local member for her comments. He acknowledged a structure of this size would have a visual impact, he stressed officers had assessed if the impact was significant enough to warrant a reason for refusal. It was stressed members had to assess the application on its own merit and have disregard for any potential applications. Members were reminded of the history of the site, previous masts had been approved and erected at the site. Officers had considered the responses from public bodies in determining the officer recommendation.
General debate - Councillor Mark young raised concerns on the safety of air craft, he asked if there had been any response from the aviation bodies. The DCM confirmed in the main report, correspondence from both the MOD and the National Air Traffic Services bodies had been included. No objections were noted.
Members heard that information had been included in the report on the potential future windfarm. It was stressed members should not have any regard to the potential development at the site.
Councillor Merfyn Parry stated in his opinion future applications at the site for potential windfarm should be considered alongside this application. The item presented to members was for feasibility work for future windfarms and should include the potential further development at the site as one application.
Councillor Merfyn Parry proposed to refuse the application contrary to officer recommendations as it should be presented as one application including the future windfarm. Councillor Emrys Wynne seconded the proposal for refusal.
The DCM confirmed members were in receipt of a lawful planning application which has followed the correct procedure. Previous planning applications that had followed the same procedure had been approved at the site. The DCM emphasised members would be permitted to comment on any potential future windfarm application with the overall decision made by Welsh Government officers. Officers would present a local impact report for comments to be presented to Welsh Government on such applications.
The Legal Services Manager advised in his opinion the reason for refusal would not be defensible on appeal. It would be wholly unreasonable to require any developer to include any feasibility study as part as a full development. The application presented to members had been for a feasibility application, he stressed that the outcome of the feasibility work may or may not prove the site suitable for future development. The application needed to be determined on its own merit.
Councillor Emrys Wynne raised concern that if the application was granted it would lead to further development creeping in at the site. In his opinion this application would be the beginning of a much larger development. He felt the application would affect the visual horizon for the local communities. He stressed the work involved in erecting the mast would have an impact on the surrounding land.
Councillor Brian Jones stressed green energy would be needed to support communities globally in the future including the use of windfarms and on that basis proposed the application be granted in accordance with officer recommendation as stipulated in the report, councillor Peter Scott seconded the proposal.
The DCM supported the opinion of Councillor Jones and looking at the bigger picture and reminded members the decision required was to determine the temporary structure to assess the feasibility of a potential windfarm in this location. It was stressed members had to assess the application on its own merit and not have any regard to potential future applications. It was stressed to members the difficulty to compare aspects of the planning process and the differences between different types of applications involved in the planning process.
Councillor Gwyneth Ellis agreed with Councillor Parry that the application should have been presented with the inclusion of a windfarm as a whole. Councillor Ellis thanked the legal and planning officers for the detailed response and acknowledged the response to concerns. It was highlighted to members the proposed mast was much higher than the previous mast at the sight and would cause visual impact for local members.
The Chair confirmed that the impact to visual amenities for residents would be considered as a material planning consideration for refusal. The DCM echoed the statement made by the Chair.
Councillor Merfyn Parry stated he was in agreement to have visual impact included as a reason for refusal alongside his opinion that the application should have been presented as a whole with future developments.
The DCM responded to members concerns with regard to safety considerations of low flying aircraft. He confirmed officers had consulted with the relevant bodies and responses had been included in the report. The Chair guided members to the conditions attached to the report which included additional safety precautions.
The Legal Service Manager advised members to refrain from including the feasibility application being part of the main application as a reason for refusal. He suggested a covering letter be sent to the applicant detailing members concerns.
Councillor Merfyn Parry did not feel a covering letter would be strong enough and stated his reason for refusal was the feasibility application should be included as part of the whole application.
Proposal – Councillor Merfyn Parry proposed to refuse the application contrary to officer recommendation for the reasons that it should be one application including feasibility work and future developments and the visual impact on local residents. This was seconded by Councillor Emrys Wynne.
Councillor Briand Jones proposed the application in accordance with officer recommendation, seconded by Councillor Peter Scott.
The Chair made it clear that if members voted to refuse the application it would be for both reasons as stated above. Councillor Ellis was of the opinion that the reason for refusal should be visual amenity and a letter attached to the applicant.
It was agreed to hold the vote to ascertain if the application was agreed or refused, then if members voted to refuse the application a second vote for the reasons for refusal would be held. The Legal Services Manager confirmed that was acceptable to hold the vote in that order as long as all members understood the vote.
FOR – 11
AGAINST – 5
ABSTAIN – 0
The Chair confirmed there would be no further vote.
RESOLVED that permission be GRANTED in accordance with officer Recommendations as detailed in the report, including the conditions set out in the report