City to have wind farm say
COUNCILLORS in Swansea are to have an official say on a giant wind farm scheme off the Gower coast.
The authority is to become a formal consultee on the Atlantic Array project.
A report putting forward the idea went before members of the Development Management and Control Committee.
The off-shore wind farm proposal has been earmarked for development in the Bristol Channel and will include the Gower coastline, along with Lundy and North Devon.
The UK planning inspectorate will have the final say on the plans.
If given the go-ahead it is expected to get under way in 2016 and the offshore infrastructure is expected to take between one and two years to build.
Grid connection works will be put in place onshore in North Devon if permission is granted.
Richard Jones, major projects team leader on Swansea Council, said the authority would have to register its interest in having a say over the scheme.
He added: "It is recognised however that proposed nationally significant infrastructure project schemes located in offshore locations have a potential visual impact on local authorities which are not identified as 'A' or 'B' authorities.
"In these circumstances, the planning inspectorate will consult the local authority(s) within a 35km zone of visual influence identified from the nearest element of the proposed development to the shoreline.
"The City and County of Swansea falls within this zone and is identified as a non-prescribed consultation body."
He added: "To continue its involvement in the process it will be necessary therefore for the City and County of Swansea to register its interest in the proposals by making relevant representation to the planning inspectorate by September 16."
By backing the step to become a formal consultee the local authority will now be able to request to speak at a preliminary meeting over the scheme and put forward a detailed response to the planning inspectorate.