The Mayor of Ammanford has accused the town’s councillors of Nimbyism after plans to build a wind farm on Betws Mountain stalled.
Mayor Irena Hopkins said towns such as Ammanford had a responsibility to fight climate change for future generations, after the town council voted to overturn an earlier decision backing the scheme.
The council withdrew its support claiming that analysis carried out by developers Cambrian Renewable Energy and Eco2 failed to consider the full extent of mine workings on Betws Mountain.
The council had voted in favour of project, which would see 16 400-foot high wind turbines built on the mountain, last July.
Councillor Hopkins dismissed opponents of the plans who say that disused mine workings could cause subsidence and an Aberfan-type’ disaster.
“I believe we need to do something about environmental matters and if we are not going start in our own backyards then where?” said Councillor Hopkins.
“I can understand that some people are concerned but I simply cannot believe that a firm that is building a wind farm has not carried out all the necessary research.”
Cllr Hopkins’ views failed to sway the council, which withdrew its support for the project.
Bruce Anderson, an opponent of the plans, said that the project, if approved, would cast doubt over who was responsible for the mountain.
He said that the Coal Authority is currently liable for any problems, such as subsidence, but a new development would end in each side blaming the other.
“Mines exist under the entire mountain and there are major faults all over the mountain.
“If the wind farm goes ahead and there is a problem then there would be a dispute as to who is liable.
“Any major incident would lead to a long litigation process between the Coal Authority and the developers.
“The problem is that the developers have said that they will not carry out further tests until they receive planning permission and that will be too late.”
By Steve Adams
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