Plans for 27 wind turbines north of Bridgend have been given the thumbs down by residents, writes Kerry-Lynne Doyle.
In a meeting at Evanstown Community Centre on Tuesday, people voiced their disapproval of the plans, which were submitted to Bridgend County Borough Council last year.
Pennant Walters applied in March to place 14 turbines, each 115m high, at the Pant y Wal site, with access tracks and sub stations.
In August, npower applied to place 13 turbines, each 135m high, an access track, a substation and anemometry masts at Fforch Nest site.
If approved, the npower site will create 39 megawatts of energy and the Pennant Walters site 42 megawatts.
In a meeting organised by the council, assistant director of planning services, Martin Hooker, explained how a decision will be reached using guidance from the Assembly.
He also explained the Fforch Nest site is partly on the boundary of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.
Mr Hooker said: ‘Both councils are going through an assessment process before reporting to our respective committees.
‘The vehicles needed to bring the turbines to the site will be 55 metres long.
‘I have particular concerns about the access tracks as they can make quite a mess of open land.
‘I think it would be totally intrusive to surround this valley with turbines.’
The meeting featured a presentation from Liz Cole from South Wales Alternative To Turbines (SWATT).
She said: ‘It seems as if the South Wales valleys has to carry the responsibility for climate problems throughout the world.
‘Wales has a higher proportion of turbines than the rest of the UK.
‘The developers will have to travel past Hendreforgan Primary School so it’s pain for us and no gain.’
People in the meeting raised concerns about the effect turbines would have on house prices, the environment, tourism, traffic, their health and wildlife.
Ogmore Vale community councillor Bill Lewis said: ‘We have just recovered from 150 years of mining and now it is all cleaned up.
‘The Welsh Assembly is showing complete contempt for all of the mining areas in South Wales by wanting to place turbines here.’
Representatives from npower and Pennant Walters did not attend the meeting as it was arranged to discuss the planning process with the public.
Bethan Thomas from npower said: ‘npower renewables has proactively kept residents informed about the Fforch Nest wind farm proposal, with a website, newsletters, public exhibitions and clear points of contact.
‘If anyone has any specific queries about the project, contact Tanya Davies or Bethan Thomas on (01639) 816180, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.’
Gwyn Thomas at Pennant Walters said: ‘The Pennant Walters Pant y Wal project lies within strategic search area F, as defined by TAN8.
‘It will help the Welsh Assembly Government ensure that Wales plays its part in tackling climate change.
‘Our planning application was accompanied by a comprehensive environmental statement showing details on predicted impacts and mitigation measures.’
22 February 2007
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