Chair: Dr Christine Evans
Secretary: Dr Christine Evans (Interim)
Membership Secretary: Miss Kathleen Morris
Page last updated September 21st 2015
Details of forthcoming events will be available soon
Recent Branch Activity
Over the summer months we've been working hard to increase our membership and had leaflets, magazines and Xmas cards (to sell) at our new gazebo, in case of inclement weather.
6th June attended Loggfest at LoggerheadsCountryPark, very windy
20th June Mold Market and Bailey Hill festival Mold the following day when there was much greater interest. Jean Rosenfeld then kindly spoke at a meeting in MoldTown Hall
8th August Llanarmon Yn Ial Sheepdog trials and Gymkana where again there was a good deal of interest and we will go there again next year and also go to the Bryneglwys Summer fair.Thanks go to Bob Gaffey, Kathleen Morris, Mike Skuse Shirley van de Bilj and Christine Evans for manning the stalls.
On 9 September members enjoyed a most interesting guided tour, organised by Irene Brightmer, round Gwydyr Castle at Llanrwst. The castle (whose origins date back to the beginning of the16th century and whose history is closely intertwined with that of the Wynn dynasty) was acquired in a ruinous state by Judy Corbett and her partner Peter Welford about two decades ago. Over those years, through painstaking research and hard labour, much of its former glory has been faithfully restored. The first decade of their adventure is entertainingly told in Judy’s book, Castles in the air, (Ebury Press, 2004). We were privileged to be guided round the house and gardens by Judy herself. Our trip concluded with a visit to Gwydyr Uchaf Chapel with its famous painted ceiling.
On 16 September, Chris Madoc-Jones led a group of members on a visit to two historic churches in the Clwyd valley near Denbigh. St Dyfnog’s church at Llanrhaeadr dates from the 13th century and is particularly famous for its beautiful 16th century stained glass ‘Jesse’ window, which represents the legendary family tree of Jesus Christ, from Jesse, the father of King David (a genealogy inspired by the prophesy in the book of Isiah). Then on to another 13th century church in Llanynys, dedicated to St Saeran. Most notable here is the unique mediaeval painted mural of St Christopher, discovered during repairs in 1960. The graffiti on the church door, dating from Elizabethan times demonstrated that human nature has not really changed over the centuries!
Wind and solar applications
Such developments within the Branch area have resulted in observations being submitted in respect of a single large wind turbine proposal in the Cyffylliog area and two separate applications for 5MW solar parks between Sealand and Blacon. These two applications are of much concern as they appear to form part of what could eventually become a single major solar park having a maximum peak generation capacity of 49MW.
Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm Project.
During September a Development Consent Order (DCO) was issued to allow the construction of a 32 turbine wind farm following the report submitted by the Planning Inspectorate. Within the report it was stated that there would be no significant visual impact 5km beyond the site and that changes within that distance were not sufficient to justify rejection of the project. The report further claimed that the national interest in developing large scale wind farms was not outweighed by the potential adverse local impact!
Since the development being given the green light, information has come to hand that work will start with the removal of trees in the vicinity of where the turbines are to be sited. This work will last up to the end of June 2015 and will result in some public access in the area being restricted. With the commencement of the construction phase at a later stage, further restrictions are also likely to be applied.
Proposed Residential Development, Denbigh
Information has been received of a proposal to build 174 dwellings on agricultural land located in the Brookhouse area of Denbigh town between the unclassified road leading to Llandyrnog and the A525 Denbigh – Ruthin Road. Although the land in question is allocated for such development within Denbighshire County Council’s adopted LDP, there is concern about the impact upon the grade l listed St Marcella’s Church located in open countryside that will then border the extended settlement boundary on completion of the scheme. A further concern about the development is the increase of traffic upon the local road network with associated road safety issues. Until a planning application is submitted, when full details of the proposed development will then become available, the situation will remain being monitored.
North Wales Wind Farm Connection Project
At this moment in time, the Branch has submitted a representation to the Planning Inspectorate on an application for development consent being made by SP MANWEB for the proposed development. Information is now awaited from the Secretary of State as to the appointment of an Examining Inspector who will be responsible for examining the application and of the Preliminary Meeting where there will be an opportunity to make representations about the procedure for the examination. Further information on the Project can be found on: www.nwwindfarmsconnection.co.uk
North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project
An application for the construction of an Energy Recovery Facility, which will also include bottom ash recycling and maturation facilities on the Deeside Industrial Park has now been submitted to Flintshire County Council for determination. Examination of the documentation accompanying the application reveals that despite the scheme having been promoted as utilising the rail network as part of the means to transport waste, this method has been deferred to some undetermined date in the future due to cost. Transportation of waste to the facility will initially be by way of the road network resulting in a daily average of 60 HGV movements one way each day of every week. Such vehicle movement will produce not insignificant pollution to that already existing on roads in the area. As such, the proposed development has resulted in the Branch submitting an objection to the project.
Wind Turbine Development, Greenfield, Holywell
Following refusal of planning consent for a similar proposal nearly three years ago by the LA, Kingspan Ltd, Greenfield Business Park, has submitted a fresh application. The proposal is again for two wind turbines whose heights to blade tip now being reduced by 30% to 78m. Both turbines will be sited, as previously, at the same locations within the grounds of the applicant’s premises at the Business Park. Despite the turbines reduced height, they will produce the same adverse impacts upon neighbouring residential property and the surrounding environment that will result in an objection being submitted by the Branch.
Drilling of Exploration Borehole, Borras, Wrexham
As a result of planning consent being refused by Wrexham CBC for the drilling of an exploration borehole on land near Commonwood Farm, Borras, an appeal was successfully upheld allowing the applicant to undertake the work for which permission had originally been sought.
Within the project’s application, drilling operations were indicated as lasting approximately 60 to 75 days at the most and being 24/7 during that period of time. Results from the exploratory borehole will now be awaited to see if sufficient reserves of gas are present to make it economically viable for its extraction to take place.
Proposed Gas Fired Power Station, Wrexham Industrial Estate
Following public consultation, Wrexham Power Ltd has since reconsidered their proposal for a new grid connection and now intends to use the existing 132kv distribution network following an upgrade. In addition to this, the generating capacity of the power station has now been reduced from a previously proposed output of up to 1200MW to one producing up to 299MW.
At the present stage, the company is currently compiling a DCO for submission to the Planning Inspectorate, so detailed information about the proposal is anticipated shortly. This development is being closely monitored following approaches made to the Branch by the local action group.
2014 Rural Wales Award
The Branch presented its 2014 Rural Wales Award to a community group called FlintShare.
This community supported venture is run by volunteers with the aim to produce food in a sustainable way, in addition to providing opportunities to learn about growing seasonal organically grown food and sharing experiences about food production.
At the present time, FlintShare has three sites within Flintshire; Cilcain, Hawarden and Northop where crops grown include potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, garlic and apples to name just a few.
Branch Meetings 2015
These have been arranged for the dates/times listed below, the venue being the Meeting Room, Visitor Centre, Loggerheads Country Park, Loggerheads, Nr. Mold, CH7 5LH.
7.00pm, Monday 13th July 2015.
7.00pm, Thursday 17th September 2015.
2.30pm, Thursday 19th November 2015.
All our meetings are open to all members and to any person wishing to learn more about the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales with an intention of joining the organisation.
As we are short of members from the Wrexham CBC area, the Branch would especially welcome anybody joining us from that region.
Links to LAs within the Branch area and other organisations
The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which lies within the Branch area and who we support and enjoy a close working relationship: www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk