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National park visits proposed solar hamlet

solarAT A RECENT meeting of the Development Management Committee of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park a decision was taken to visit a site for a proposed Solar Hamlet. 

The application comprises of two detached and four semi-detached Ty Solar type houses. The proposed location for the site to the north of the county is on land adjacent to Glanrhyd House in Glanrhyd near Nevern. Pembrokeshire based Western Solar Ltd have announced their intention to build Wales first Solar Hamlet at Glanrhyd based on their award winning Ty Solar zero energy home. The homes are exclusively for local people to the north Pembrokeshire area. A development application has been lodged by Western Solar Ltd with Pembrokeshire National Parks for consideration to convert the former garage at Glanrhyd to erect six homes. The houses will be manufactured at Brynawelon Farm near Croft by a newly established eco factory that intends to meet, what it hopes will be, growing demand for zero energy housing. The prototype, which stands at Rhosygilwen, was visited by the First Minister Carwyn Jones last year and the company has since been engaged in gearing up its production facilities and finding a suitable site for what will be a showcase for rural contemporary sustainable living in the 21st century. Occupants of the Ty Solar home will be offered an attractive package of free services to address many of the problems of rising energy costs and transport and communications. In addition to free energy, the new super broadband and sewage, residents will be offered low energy kitchen appliances and a subsidised electric car sharing scheme to slash the cost of short distance commuting to nearby Cardigan and Newport. The south facing homes all enjoy passive solar gain and their triple glazed windows and 11 insulated walls give them a top A energy rating which few new houses enjoy in the area. The integrated solar PV roofs will provide more than enough all year round energy to meet domestic demand. The homes are constructed with timber sourced from Wales and the surrounding national parks and supported by a strong network of local suppliers. Western Solar will create 10 jobs before the end of the year with at least half of them being apprentices. Further job creation will result with third party suppliers such as Thomas Joinery in Bynberian who intend to supply the company with its highly specified windows and doors. John Thomas of Thomas Joinery said: “We’re looking forward to the start of the construction of these units as it will allow for our continued growth and expansion. It is great that we have this exciting new venture on our doorstep. Dr Glen Peters, CEO of Western Solar said: “We’re hoping to demonstrate that affordable housing can be supportive of the environment and provide a much needed social benefit in the way of homes for local people who are being driven out of the area because of a lack of suitable dwellings. Further details regarding availability of the units will be published towards the end of this year subject to the scheme being approved by Pembrokeshire National Parks in June. Caption: The planned Solar Hamlet at Glanrhyd.

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Dayne Stone

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