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Turbine company accused of misleading community  

Residents who could soon be living in the shadow of a giant wind farm have accused the company behind it of trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

Opponents of the scheme put forward by Gamesa Energy UK have laid into its consultation efforts and also suggested the name used for the park is misleading.

But Gamesa has revealed it could have by-passed local opinion altogether and is still consulting.

The company wants to put 14 603ft turbines in the Upper Afan Valley. With a 120m tower and a 64m blade, the structures would stand well over four times the height of Swansea’s big wheel.

The planned development consists of four turbines in Glyncorrwg and another 10 on the Gelli mountain, near Croeserw.

But those who would be most affected, at Croeserw, were left out in last week’s series of exhibitions.

Instead, there were two held in Maesteg and one in Glyncorrwg.

Flyers advertising the meetings said the park would be “to the north-east of the Llynfi Valley” – and made no reference to the Afan Valley.

But 13 of the turbines are in Neath Port Talbot, with just one in Bridgend.

The name Llynfi Valley Energy Park is therefore considered by some to be misleading.

Bob Slater, spokesman for campaign organisation Glyncorrwg Action Group, said: “Only a small part of this proposal is actually in the Llynfi Valley, the majority is in the Afan Valley.

“The area most affected by this development – Croeserw – did not have an exhibition while there were two in the Llynfi Valley.”

But Gamesa spokesman Rob Fellows said the firm could have gone to the Department for Trade and Industry for permission, instead of asking the local planning authorities of Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend to decide.

“Gamesa believes this decision should be made at local level – this is the first time a developer has adopted this approach,” he said.

Mr Fellows added that a programme of further briefings would be carried out in the New Year, including in Croeserw.

He said project managers were prepared to look again at the name.

“If residents would like us to rename the proposal, I would welcome their ideas.”

Call him on 0800 3457293 for details.


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