Plans for a three turbine wind farm on the Gwrhyd Mountain, near Tai’rgwaith and Rhiwfawr in the Upper Swansea valley, have been turned down.
Labour Neath AM Gwenda Thomas today welcomed the decision by the Planning Inspectorate to uphold Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council’s decision to refuse planning permission.
The planning application, lodged by community group Awel Aman Tawe, was opposed by many residents in Tai’rgwaith and Rhiwfawr, including Gwenda Thomas on the basis of an overbearing visual impact on both communities and the fact that the wind farm would have been outside the TAN 8 strategic search area.
TAN 8 is the Assembly’s agenda to. address Wales’s renewable energy challenges
The appeal by Awel Aman Tawe, contested by local residents and the County Borough Council, was heard by a planning inspector at a public inquiry earlier this summer.
Gwenda Thomas commented: “I’m very pleased that the views of the local community have been taken into consideration and that the application, as a result of local opposition, has been rejected on appeal.”
“My main concerns were the overbearing visual impact on both Tai’rgwaith and Rhiwfawr and the fact that the wind farm would have been outside the TAN 8 strategic search area . Had this application had been approved, it might have opened the floodgate for similar applications that are situated outside a TAN 8 SSA to have been approved.”
“I fully recognise the challenges posed by climate change, and renewable energy sources are vital in our aim to reduce carbon emissions and meet our obligations under the Kyoto protocol. However, we must listen to, and take into consideration the views and opinions of local people who will be affected the most by these developments.
“I would also like to praise Awel Aman Tawe for their work in energy efficiency schemes, and I pledge my full support for them to continue this excellent work in the local community.”
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