Green Energy Policy
You can download our Green Energy Policy by clicking here, or alterantively see below.
This policy is generally in line with the position statement on Renewable Energy issued by the National Association for AONBs.
The Lordship of Gower could be split into the following areas as different areas may require a different response:
- Gower Peninsula - AONB
- Gower Peninsula -Non AONB - Urban
- Gower Peninsula -Non AONB - Rural
- Rest of Lordship - Prospective AONB extension
- Rest of Lordship - Remainder - Urban
- Rest of Lordship - Remainder - Rural
- Outside the Lordship but affecting it visually
Only current one is in Swansea Bay (Area G). The Society has serious reservations and has set these out in a statement to the planning inspectorate dated 8.4.2014. Reservations include significant negative visual impact and possible negative impact upon the environment, marine wildlife and seabed movement along the coast.
A lagoon attached to any part of the Gower coast would have a huge impact on Area A and should be objected to.
Tidal Flow Capture. (Barrage)
It is possible that a scheme for the Loughor estuary could be proposed. This would be a combination of Areas A and G. A barrage upstream of Loughor bridge would be acceptable and should not be opposed. Any barrage below this point should be carefully considered and objected to if there is a significant negative impact on Area A.
Wind Farms - Land Based
Any within Areas A to F would be visually too obtrusive and should be objected to. Those in area G should be considered on a case by case basis. The Society should object only if they are too obtrusive.
Wind Farms - Marine Based
This would be Area G and should be considered on a case by case basis. The Society should object only if they are too obtrusive.
Individual Wind Turbines.
Small unobtrusive turbines in any area should not be objected to. Obtrusive individual turbines in Areas A & D to be objected to: also object to them in other areas which detrimentally affect Areas A & D
Solar Panels - Domestic
No objection to small installation, whether on roof or in garden. Larger installations to be considered on a case by case basis.
Solar Panels - Large arrays on large shed/barn roofs
Consider on a case by case basis. Generally no objection if on existing buildings and not too obtrusive. (Do not want encourage new large "farm"buildings erected principally to accommodate panels.)
(Note: The less visual dark frame type of solar cell to be encouraged)
Object in Areas A & D: they are industrial installations. Object in other areas only if it has a significant visual impact on Areas A & D.
No objection to "domestic" farm installations. Object in Areas A & D if installation would import material as it would be "industrial". In other areas consider on case by case basis whether there would be a significant visual impact and / or if it would generate significant additional regular heavy traffic.
No fundamental objection. However object if environment would suffer, e.g. visually too obtrusive within or from Areas A & D or if ground water contamination is likely.
Coal Seam Gasification.
Same as Fracking. (Presumed that scheme would only be permitted if it is technically competent).
Below are some examples of our policy in practice:
This is a typically large solar panel installation near Cross Hands that can be seen from upland Gower at Mynydd-y-Gwair.
|Black framed and darker panels are far less conspicuous on roofs. All panels should be of this type in our opinion.|
The only large wind turbine complex within the Lordship of Gower followed a 20 year battle by local farmers and conservationists to prevent it happening. 16 giant turbines have been erected on Mynydd-y-Gwair, on a previous expanse of unspoilt upland moorland.
|With the access roads over 15 km in length, along with the turbines themselves, the whole character of the area has been changed. Upland sheep farming will never be the same again. The site will generate a maximum of 48 MW of electricity in ideal wind conditions but an average of only 25% of this through its life. On the plus side, a sum of approximately £250,000 per year will be injected by the developers into the local community for the next 25 years by way of grants administered by the Swansea Council for Voluntary Service.|
|Kittle Egg ‘Factory’ 250 KW (1000 panels). There are many large industrial sheds that could accommodate solar panels without further damaging the landscape and ruining agricultural land.|
|This similar installation that has the bright frames is much more visible.|
|A typical domestic roof installation that detracts from the architecture of the original roof as well as having the bright aluminium framed panels.|
|This small commercial site is well hidden in the AONB and is not objected to.|
|A very large urban installation with bright frames on a commercial roof that is acceptable as long as the correct planning process is followed and would have looked better with dark frames.|
The ground mounted panels are claimed to allow grass to be grazed by sheep but these at Rhyd-y-Pandy have long grass growing between them. This is a small section of 167,000 panels already installed in this area with many more now approved.
This proposed 1 MW ground mounted solar panel installation at Webbsfield Ilston was opposed by residents and The Gower Society. It was refused at a Planning Appeal because of the potential impact upon the landscape. This was the first of its type to be applied for within the AONB.
|A recent application for a 0.77MW roof mounted solar array was approved by the City and County of Swansea. It will be fixed on existing warehouse roofs in Swansea Docks and the Gower Society supports such installations that will not effect the landscape. There are hundreds of such industrial roofs within Swansea that could be adapted for solar panels.|
This information is also available as a PDF, click here to download.