The results of an independent report into onshore wind energy in our area will be noted by Swansea Council Cabinet Members next week.
The report by Arup was commissioned by Swansea Council along with Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Bridgend and Carmarthenshire Councils, following the identification by the Assembly of seven areas across Wales where onshore wind energy should be concentrated. These are known as Strategic Search Areas ( SSAs ).
In order to meet the 2010 renewable energy target, the Assembly Government’s energy policy is that 800MW of renewable energy should be provided in Wales by strategic large scale onshore wind energy developments to help reduce the emissions which cause climate change.
The Arup report examined two SSA’s identified in the Assembly guidance document TAN 8 known as Area E and Area F.
Part of Area E, referred to “Pontardawe” lies within the Swansea Council area.
Cabinet Member for Environment John Hague said, “The report by Arup is not definitive and will only be used as a background paper to inform the preparation of supplementary planning guidance on the issue of onshore wind energy to support the emerging Unitary Development Plan for Swansea.”
The aim of the Arup study was to minimise the potential for substantial changes in landscape character and they concluded that the area was too small to accommodate the largest wind turbines.
The report identified areas within both SSAs which could be technically feasible for onshore wind farms. The report indicated several sites in Area 7 ( outside the Swansea Council area ) and one in Area 6, which includes Mynnydd y Gwair and Mynydd Garn-Fach.
There are no current planning applications for wind energy developments in this area with this Authority.
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