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MP set to complain against turbine firm

An Mp is to lodge a formal complaint against the firm behind plans to bring the UK’s tallest wind turbines to Neath and Port Talbot.Aberavon’s Hywel Francis has accused Gamesa Energy UK of misleading the public over its proposals.

The allegation has been denied again by the company, which highlighted the need for such development in the fight against global warming.

But Dr Francis has reiterated his opposition to turbines in the Upper Afan Valley and called for it to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

GEUK wants to put 14,603ft turbines in the Upper Afan Valley.

With a 120 metre tower and a 64 metre 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.

Flyers advertising exhibitions on the plans 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 the Upper Afan Valley, with just one in the Llynfi Valley.

The consultation was ridiculed by campaign organisation Glyncorrwg Action Group.

And today it received strong support from an MP well known for opposing such turbines in the Afan Valley.

Dr Francis said: “I believe that such developments would be a serious blight on an improving landscape.

“I have proposed that the Upper Afan Valley should be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Dr Francis added: “The most recent proposals are extremely misleading to the public. Gamesa Energy UK has described its proposal as the Llynfi Renewable Energy Park, even though all but one of the turbines are actually in what is the Afan Valley.

“I shall be writing to the Secretary of State for Wales and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, complaining formally about this and to indicate the very strong local opposition to the proposals.”

But Gamesa spokesman Rob Fellows hit back, pointing out Dr Francis had come to his conclusion without seeing the draft proposal and before a planning application had been submitted.

He went on: “What GEUK is proposing is strictly in line with Assembly planning policy and is a proposal that would make a significant impact in tackling accelerated climate change and global warming.”

Mr Fellows added that the name for the project had been its working title for over two years.

“It is not our intention to exclude or misrepresent communities in any way whatsoever,” he said.

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

Call him on 0800 3457293 for details.