The proposed development seeks consent from the Welsh Government for a Green Infrastructure and renewable energy facility.
The first round of statutory consultation took place in the summer and since then the Applicant has reflected on the community and technical feedback received and further refined the scheme.
The key refinements introduced to this latest scheme are summarised below:
(i) All solar arrays have been removed from the fields located to the south of the Afon Llan. This is due to ecology. These fields will be retained for full continued agricultural use. These proposed modifications have reduced the development areas within the planning application boundary. By removing the arrays to the south of Afon Llan the Applicant has also taken out the need for any associated directional drilling works under Afon Llan. Solar arrays have also been removed from a further two fields located due south of Glasfryn Terrace due to ecological stepwise considerations. Following the exclusion of five land parcels (as described above), the Applicant has sought to relocate some of the PV modules within the retained fields, thus achieving a more efficient use of the retained fields.
(ii) Reconfiguration of the battery energy storage system and customer substation compound.
(iii) Alternative cable route - The proposals presented during the first round of statutory consultation showed three cable routing options, which would all traverse agricultural fields and local highways to the south of the river Afon Llan. These three routing options are no longer available to the Applicant. An alternative cabling route is therefore required to connect to the existing pylon located off Ystrad Road. To this end, the Applicant is now proposing to reroute the cable trench along the existing local highway (namely Swansea Road, Carmarthen Road, Ystrad Road and Denver Road). In addition, a second point of connection option is being introduced to the scheme and this is located to the north off Carmarthenshire Road. The planning application boundary has been extended to accommodate these changes.
The construction and operation of the solar power and storage facility comprises ground mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, together with associated infrastructure, including, battery storage, DNO and client substations, transformers, perimeter security fencing, access tracks, CCTV, landscaping and cable route. Land within the solar array areas will be available for continued agricultural use for the duration of the development as the fields will be capable of being grazed by sheep. Maintenance of the some of the wildflower meadows may also require mechanical cutting.