Welcome

to the project website for the Mynydd Llanhilleth onshore wind farm.

Proposals

what are we proposing?

Common Land

considerations relating to the Common Land status of the area

Community

opportunities for considerable community benefit

Project Documents

further information

Pennant Walters is developing proposals for a wind farm on a site at Mynydd Llanhilleth, which lies east of the settlements of Llanhilleth, Brynithel, Aberbeeg and Six Bells, and west of Pontnewnydd and Pontypool. The A472 runs along the valley to the south of the proposed site.

It is estimated that the wind farm will generate up to 48MW of electricity, which is equivalent to providing enough power to meet the annual electricity needs of approximately 24,000 homes[1].

This website will be updated regularly to keep you informed about the proposals and the upcoming public consultation, where we will be seeking views of local residents and consultees.

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

Have your say

We are proposing to undertake pre-application community consultation prior to submitting an application to the Planning Inspectorate Wales. This will include a local public consultation period in June and July 2021 (see details below), followed by a formal consultation period later in the year as required by the DNS regulations set out in the Planning (Wales) Act 2015.

We are holding public exhibitions to provide further information about the proposals and to seek local feedback. These events will take place at the following locations and dates:

  • XXXXXXXXXXXX
  • XXXXXXXXXXXX

Given the current changeable Covid restrictions, we are also hosting all information online on a virtual exhibition, which can be accessed from this website.

About us

Pennant Walters was founded in 2003 to develop renewable energy schemes as part of the Walters Group drive to develop sustainable, green projects on its land holdings. Walters Group is based at Hirwaun and employs 500 people across the business, many of those in South Wales.

Walters is a family company with a long history of operation across the valleys. Historically providing plant and services to the mining industry, the group now looks towards the delivery of greener energy and is bringing forward numerous new renewable energy projects across the region.

Currently Pennant Walters operates six wind farms in South Wales, generating 127MW of energy making it Wales’ largest home-grown renewable energy developer. All current and future planned wind projects are located within former coalfields – we are experts in delivering these schemes in areas that have historically been mined. Health and safety, respect for industrial heritage and co-operation with the local communities whose residents have lived in the area for generations are core to our operations.

We take all our sites from inception to operation, ensuring continuity for local community and stakeholders throughout the planning, construction, generation and decommissioning phases.

Further information about Pennant Walters can be found here.

What are we proposing to develop?

Pennant Walters is seeking to develop a wind farm of up to 48MW 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:

At this stage, it is proposed that Mynydd Llanhilleth wind farm will comprise the following:

  • Up to 12 wind turbines, anticipated to be 4-6MW each with an indicative height of up to 180m to tip together with external transformer housing;
  • Turbine foundations, crane pads and laydown areas;
  • An electrical substation and control building;
  • Underground power cables linking the turbines and the on-site substation;
  • Possible improvements to main site access and temporary construction of access tracks off main access point to access proposed turbines;
  • Permanent anemometer mast for wind turbine performance monitoring;
  • Construction enabling works; and
  • A temporary construction and storage compound.

It is estimated that the wind farm will generate up to 48MW of electricity, which is equivalent to providing enough power to meet the annual electricity needs of approximately 24,000 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 40MW of wind energy it will constitute a Development of National Significance (DNS) under the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 and Pennant Walters must apply to the Planning Inspectorate Wales, 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 strategic ‘search 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. This site lies within an area of Common Land. There will be 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 planning consent, 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. It may also be necessary to deregister Common Land to facilitate the construction and operation of a wind farm at the site, and to secure replacement land of equivalent value and adequate proximity to the common.

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.

Will these proposals impact Tirpentwys and the Blue Lagoon?

These proposals are for land in the proximity of Tirpentwys Cut and the Blue Lagoon. This is something we are looking at very carefully as we consider how to design the scheme to avoid impacts on the local area. Whilst the red-line area identified is quite large, much of this area will be open space, with turbines and associated infrastructure only located on a small percentage of the land.

We are committed to ensuring that the Blue Lagoon and surrounding woodland will remain unchanged (i.e. no tree felling), and that existing access arrangements for leisure are retained.

Other leisure activities such as hiking or mountain biking will also be considered carefully to ensure minimal disruption through the planning process and operation of the site.

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 late 2021/early 2022. Pre-application consultation with consultees and the local community will take place through 2021 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.

Contact/Feedback

Thank you for taking the time to read this website. We value your feedback and welcome any comments you might have on the proposed scheme. These can be returned using the form on this website.

If you prefer, you can also provide feedback by calling us on: 0800 699 0081or by emailing: Mynydd-Llanhilleth@pennantwalters.co.uk.

If you would prefer to post to us, you can send letters to: FREEPOST TC CONSULTATION (no further address or stamp required).
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Privacy Statement

By filling-in this form you are agreeing that Pennant Walters can hold and process your personal data in relation to this public consultation exercise.

Pennant Walters will only share your personal data with companies within the project team, and in certain circumstances, specific project consultants for planning evaluation purposes only.

Your identifiable, personal data will not be used for any other purposes without your consent.

Depending on the nature of your enquiry/feedback, Pennant Walters will only use your data to:

  • Respond to specific questions or enquiries submitted via this portal.
  • Send you updates about a specific project (where you provide us with your contact details).
  • Develop a Pre-application Consultation (PAC) Report (or similar document) about this public consultation that will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate Wales and/or other relevant planning bodies; this will be a publicly available document.

Your comments will be anonymous, and we will only identify you in these reports with your express permission.

If you provide us with your contact details, we might also contact you to ask you more about any comments you’ve made and to keep you informed about the project.

Your data will be stored in line with the GDPR.

Further information on our Privacy Policy can be found by clicking the link under 'Privacy' in the footer of this website.

Supply Chain

We are keen to ensure that wherever possible, Welsh contractors are employed to help us deliver the services we need for this project. We will be undertaking supply chain outreach over coming months and years, however to sign up for updates and to register your interest in the project, fill out a form on the Contact/Feedback page.

Further information will be posted on this website soon.

Supply Chain

We are keen to ensure that wherever possible, Welsh contractors are employed to help us deliver the services we need for this project. We will be undertaking supply chain outreach over coming months and years, however to sign up for updates and to register your interest in the project, fill out a form on the Contact/Feedback page.

Further information will be posted on this website soon.

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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 is keen to ensure that the sourcing of components, materials, services and supplies originate wherever possible from the host and neighbouring local authorities. As a local South Wales based company, we have a proud history of employment generation within the region, and look forward to continuing to create jobs for local people.
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 is keen to ensure that the sourcing of components, materials, services and supplies originate wherever possible from the host and neighbouring local authorities. As a local South Wales based company, we have a proud history of employment generation within the region, and look forward to continuing to create jobs for local people.

Community benefit

We are a local company and will ensure that community considerations are integral to our wind farm proposals. We have a number of examples of how this has been done successfully on our previous projects (further information can be found here).

We are looking at developing a community benefit fund, tailored to the local area around Mynydd Llanhilleth.

We are also exploring local ownership, shared ownership and community ownership opportunities in line with Welsh Government targets.

Local ownership

Pennant Walters is a local business (local ownership) looking to incorporate an element of shared ownership with the landowners, and looking into the potential for community ownership. The project could be an exemplar case study for Welsh locally owned renewable energy generation.

We are looking at the potential for a Community Interest Company (C.I.C) model, but we would welcome other suggestions through the consultation process.

Other local benefit

Aside from the points noted on this page, we are also actively considering how we may be able to deliver additional local benefit through biodiversity protection and enhancement, improved access to the areas around the site for recreation activities such as mountain biking, hiking and sports, as well as how we can support local education providers for example.

Common land

This site lies within an area of Common Land. There will be 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 planning consent, 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. It may also be necessary to deregister Common Land to facilitate the construction and operation of a wind farm at the site, and to secure replacement land of equivalent value and adequate proximity to the common.

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.

Common land consultation

We are keen to hear from all those who may have an active (or passive) interest in the Common Land at Mynydd Llanhilleth. This includes all landowners, members of the Commoners Association, all active or passive commoners and anyone else with a legal interest in the land (such as tenants, and those with easements, other rights or covenants over the land).

We would also love to hear from anyone who uses the common in any way to help us build up an understanding of its current uses to help us develop our proposals in a way that minimises any impacts, and wherever possible, provides some benefit locally.

Please keep checking this website for further information about the Common Land consultation process, which will form part of the broader DNS pre-application consultation taking place across 2021. All documents, and information relevant to the Common Land consultation will be published on this page.

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.

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