Proposals

what are we proposing?

Pennant Walters is seeking to develop a wind farm of up to 34MW capacity in South Wales, known as Mynydd Llanhilleth wind farm.

Project Scope

The design of the wind farm has evolved during the course of the pre-application process. The refined proposals comprise:

  • Up to eight wind turbines, anticipated to be approximately 4MW each with an indicative height of up to 180m to tip together with external transformer housing;
  • Improvements to an existing access road off the B4246
  • Turbine foundations and crane pads at each turbine location
  • Underground power cables
  • Grid connection infrastructure, including an on-site substation and control building

As we progress through the pre-application process, further information and documents will be available to download from the Project Documents page.

As the proposed windfarm will generate more than 10MW of electricity it is defined as a Development of National Significance (DNS). This means that the planning application will be submitted to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) and considered by an Inspector with the final decision made by Welsh Ministers. More information on this process can be found here.

Pennant Walters submitted a scoping request to PEDW in 2021 to ensure the appropriate environmental studies are carried out as the proposals are developed.

This project is one of a number of new proposed wind farm schemes being brought forward by Pennant Walters, and the Project team is committed to informing, engaging and consulting through the design and planning process, to ensure local communities and stakeholders have an opportunity to contribute their views and help shape the emerging proposals. Further information about other projects can be found on the Pennant Walters website.

Frequently Asked Questions

These initial FAQs provide some initial information about the proposals. 

They will evolve and expand over time to incorporate additional information and address queries that arise as the Project progresses.

What are we proposing to develop?

Pennant Walters is seeking to develop a wind farm of up to 34MW capacity in South Wales, known as Mynydd Llanhilleth wind farm.

Whilst the design of the wind farm is likely to evolve during the course of the pre-application process, at this initial stage the project is currently envisaged as comprising:

    • Up to eight wind turbines, anticipated to be approximately 4MW each with an indicative height of up to 180m to tip together with external transformer housing;
    • Improvements to an existing access road off the B4246
    • Turbine foundations and crane pads at each turbine location
    • Underground power cables
    • Grid connection infrastructure, including an on-site substation and control building

As we progress through the pre-application process, further information and documents will be available to download from the Project Documents page.

It is estimated that the wind farm will generate up to 34MW of electricity, which is equivalent to providing enough power to meet the annual electricity needs of approximately 21,500 homes[1].

The wind farm will be designed with an operational life of 30 years, exporting renewable energy directly to the Western Power Distribution network.

[1] https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDExplained

Where is the site?

The proposed wind farm site is located to the south east of Abertillery and south west of the settlement of Llanhilleth. Land within the site boundary falls under the common land register and totals approximately 360 hectares. The site straddles two local authority areas – Torfaen County Borough Council and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

Who will decide whether or not this project receives planning permission?

As this project will deliver up to 34MW of wind energy it will constitute a Development of National Significance (DNS) under the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 and Pennant Walters must apply to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW), which will make a recommendation to Welsh Ministers on whether or not to grant planning permission.

Ultimately, Welsh Ministers will decide whether or not to approve the application, however many other parties will have the opportunity to influence the proposals, including host local authorities, Torfaen County Borough Council and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, as well as local communities and interested parties.

Why has this site been chosen?

Pennant Walters has undertaken an extensive review of its landholdings across south Wales. This site has been selected following this review and the identification of the area as a 'Pre-Assessed Area' for onshore wind in the recently adopted ‘Future Wales’ document, which sets a blueprint for, amongst other things, how Wales can meet its carbon reduction targets through the development of renewable energy projects in appropriate locations across Wales.

We will also work closely with Torfaen County Borough Council and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to support their work in identifying suitable areas for renewable energy development currently underway with the Carbon Trust.

How can local communities and interested parties influence the development of the proposals?

We are proposing to undertake an extensive pre-application community consultation exercise prior to submitting an application to the Planning Inspectorate. This will involve at least two rounds of public consultation, including a formal consultation period as required by the DNS regulations set out in the Planning (Wales) Act 2015.

We will be communicating further information about this consultation and how local residents and interested parties can be involved throughout this year. All information will be available to view on this website and will be publicised via a number of channels locally.

How will the proposed project support the local community, economy and involve the local supply chain?

Mynydd Llanhilleth Wind Farm offers opportunities for considerable community benefits of various kinds, including the direct benefit of investment in the local area (and supply chain), and opportunity for employment generation. Pennant Walters ensures that community consideration and local ownership are integral to its wind farm proposals. Examples of previous projects and how they have contributed to the local community can be found on the Pennant Walters website (https://pennantwalters.co.uk/site).

Further information on community benefit, supply chain and economic investment opportunities can be found on the Community Benefits tab of this website.

Will there be opportunities for local ownership as part of this project?

Yes. We feel that this project could make a significant contribution to Welsh Government targets for local community ownership of at least 1GW by 2030.

Pennant Walters is very supportive of the principle of community ownership and has facilitated this on a number of its other renewable energy projects in South Wales. We will be exploring how best to involve the community in this for Mynydd Llanhilleth and will release further information soon.

Further information on community benefit, supply chain and economic investment opportunities can be found on the Community Benefits tab of this website.

Does this site cover Common Land?

Yes. Part of the site lies within an area of Common Land. There are specific considerations relating to the Common Land status of the area, such as whether the recreational and other uses of the site (such as grazing) might be impacted (especially during construction) and how any impact on rights of way can be mitigated will also be assessed. As part of this process, we hope to identify areas in which we may be able to improve management of parts of this Common Land, given that there are known challenges to the condition of the land, for example as a result of fly tipping.

In addition to main DNS application, secondary consent would be required under Section 16 and 38 of the Commons Act 2006. Applications under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 would be required for works on the common to facilitate construction activities. We have also identified areas of land to deregister from the Common to facilitate the construction and operation of a wind farm at the site. We have also identified replacement land of equivalent value and adequate proximity to the common. Further detail about this can be found on the Common Land page of this website.

Pennant Walters is currently in the process of agreeing this replacement land. These applications will be made as part of the application for Development of National Significance (DNS). The project is at an early stage in the planning process and more details will be shared as it progresses through the various stages.

How does this site relate to Mynydd Carn-y-Cefn Wind Farm?

This is a separate project to the Mynydd Carn-y-Cefn Wind Farm project. This project lies predominantly within the Torfaen County Borough Council boundaries, whilst Mynyd Carn-y-Cefn lies wholly within Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

Whilst Pennant Walters is the applicant for both schemes, they will maintain separation throughout the process through separate planning applications and separate consultation programmes.

Cumulative impacts will be considered carefully throughout the process to ensure each project assesses the potential impacts of the other from the outset.

When will the application be submitted?

We are currently aiming to submit an application to the Planning Inspectorate Wales in early 2023. Pre-application consultation with consultees and the local community has taken place through 2021 and 2022 and further details on submission timings will be confirmed in due course.

Who are Pennant Walters?

Pennant Walters is Wales’ largest home-grown renewable energy developer. The company was formed in 2003 utilising the Walters Group Welsh land portfolio. Pennant Walters is part of the Walters Group based in Hirwaun - a local company operating nationally, employing up to 500 people in areas such as civil engineering, plant hire, renewable energy and general development.

The group has diversified significantly in the last 20 years. Since 2003 Pennant Walters has developed, built and now operates six wind farms in South Wales along with some solar for a total 127MW, making it Wales’ largest home-grown renewable energy developer. Our modus operandi is to develop a long-lasting relationship with all stakeholders including surrounding communities, landowners, local authority and regulators.
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