From a Brownfield Site to a Green Future

Parc Stormy has been redeveloped from a rundown brownfield site into a cluster of Interconnected Renewable Technologies. The concept is modelled on Güssing in Austria, where a vibrant local economy was created using the natural resources and waste products in the local vicinity.  Shortly after Parc Stormy was acquired in 2007, it was decided to use the site to commercialise a low-carbon technology invented by Cardiff University that focused on converting mineral wastes from the power and steel industries into a new generation of low-carbon cement replacement. 

In 2011, the first investment was made in Renewable Energy when a 750kW PV plant was built. In 2015 a 1.5MW wind turbine was commissioned and SOLCER House was built. In 2016 a 3MW Anaerobic Digestion plant was built by Agrivert, and planning granted for a pioneering 10MW Battery Storage project. In 2016 planning was granted for a second wind turbine which will generate 2.5MW. There are several exciting future projects in the pipeline for Parc Stormy.

This cluster of green technologies offers a fantastic opportunity for educating future generations in sustainability and low-carbon energy production.  Cenin Group is attempting to demonstrate that considerable local economic benefit  and job creation can be achieved by SMEs simply by embracing collaborative approaches that are commonplace in Mainland Europe.

Parc Stormy Conceptual Plan
Parc Stormy Conceptual Plan

The History of Stormy Down

The medieval Period

In 1150 the district surrounding Kenfig had only recently been taken by the Normans from the hands of the Welsh. It was wild, uncultivated territory where the native population was resentful of the Anglo-Norman newcomers who streamed in to take possession of the land. Amongst the latter was a certain Geoffrey Sturmy who attempted to create a new settlement “in the wilderness whereon no man had hitherto ploughed”. Still remembered today in the name “Stormy Down”

Extract taken from: “Homes in the Wilderness” The story of the ‘lost’ village of Sturmiestown by Barrie Griffiths

Full Transcript 

The War Years

All but forgotten now, the Royal Air Force aerodrome on Stormy Down served a very important role in the training of both air and ground crews during the 1939-45 war. By modern standards the, grass airfield was tiny. The longest landing run was just 1010 yards. Never the less, more than 7,000 Air Gunners were trained there on courses, lasting from three to seven weeks, depending upon the weather. At a conservative estimate at least 10 percent of them did not survive the war.

Early in the war 400 Air Observers also trained there. Later some 2,000 Flight Engineers training at St Athan did a short ground gunnery course at Stormy Down. There were also a number of short refresher courses. In total more than 10,000 aircrew passed through the school. That figure-does not include pilots, many of the Fleet Air Arm, who underwent the armament phase of their advanced training before qualifying for their wings.

For 18 months from June 1940 a Ground Armament School was also based on the camp. It trained 1,800 RAF and WAAF armourers as well as several hundred sailors destined to become Telegraphist Air Gunners with the Fleet Air Arm. Towards the end of the war, when it ceased to be a flying station, it parented a Free French Air Force depot.

Extract taken form: “Semper Alacer” The story of a South Wales Wartime Training Aerodrome, Stormydown by Raymond E Cottrell

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(Images above taken from the RAF Stormy Down Memorial booklet produced by Porthcawl Museum,

From the Cold War to the present day

In the 1950s the site was used as a location for an early warning radar station, of which there were many spread across the UK. The radar was decommissioned after the advancement of missile technology made this type of radar technology obsolete. The site was then used by the auxiliary fire service during the 1960s. From the late 1970s to 2011 a Sunday market and car boot sale was held at Stormy Down. From the 1990s, a go cart track was operating inside one of the large hangers.  

When Cenin bought the site in 2007, it was in a poor state of repair with rubbish, rushing metal and crumbling structures all over the site. Cenin set about clearing up and refurbishing the original hangers which became the cement factory and drying sheds. Recently, the original derelict war time brick switch gear building has been carefully refurbished to house the renewable energy grid connections for the site.

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