North West Wales

Wind turbine plan for Caernarfon Airport

Wind turbines photo montage
Image caption An impression of how the turbines at Caernarfon Airport would look

A small airport where the north Wales air ambulance is based is seeking permission for two wind turbines.

Caernarfon Airport managers said they would provide electricity for the site and safeguard 23 jobs, as the current set up was not financially viable.

One of the two runways would be closed to accommodate the twin-blade turbines.

Llandwrog Community Council is against the plan, citing possible detrimental effects on scenery, wildlife and tourism at Dinas Dinlle beach.

Gwynedd councillors will discuss the application next Monday.

The proposal to install the two 45m (147ft) turbines is recommended for approval by Gwynedd planners.

In a report to councillors, Llandwrog community council has objected on the grounds that the view would be spoiled, there would be a detrimental effect on wildlife, on tourism and a nearby caravan park.

Any bird strikes would have to be reported to the RSPB and Countryside Council for Wales (CCW).

CCW also notes "the magnitude of any impact on the landscape is not high enough to justify any objection".

Surveys have suggested that birds at a nearby RSPB site would be largely unaffected.

A total of 21 letters of objection have been sent by members of the public, with three in favour.

Roy Steptoe, the managing director of Caernarfon Airport, said there was a risk of closure if planning permission was not obtained for the turbines.

'Extremely windy'

"They will bring in extra revenue by supplying our own electricity and then we sell any surplus back to the grid," he said.

Local people said early plans had mentioned 14 turbines, but Mr Steptoe said "two turbines will be sufficient", on the "extremely windy" seaside site.

The recommendation to grant planning permission for the turbines would include conditions.

These include that planning approval is for 25 years, and the turbines be removed and the site reinstated by the 26th year.

Turbines would have to be removed if unused for nine months, and there would be noise control and monitoring of any bird strikes.

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