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United to fight against plans  

The bitter row over wind farms has reignited with the approval for 10 110-metre turbines near the Brechfa Forest.

Carmarthenshire planners granted a planning application from developer Catamount Energy to build the wind farm on land adjacent to Blaengwen Farm, near Alltwalis, Pencader.

The news was met with dismay by protesters who fear it will open the door to further applications around the forest.

A new group called Blaengwen Development Objectors is investigating legal options to reverse the decision.

Chairman Bob Jones said: “We are worried about road safety, air pollution, health effects and the destruction of our environment.”

The group was formed following a packed public meeting at Gwyddgrug Chapel.

More than 70 people said they were prepared to contribute cash for the fight against the power station. They claim the decision contravenes EU rules on feeding or nesting grounds of two endangered birds and leaves the council open to prosecution and a fine by the EC.

They are particularly angry that Catamount Energy was allowed to submit a second application for the wind farm while an Assembly appeal was pending against the council’s earlier rejection of the plan.

Mr Jones added: “Highways engineers haven’t yet replied to a request to consider the effects of these massive turbines transported by road and the longer term effects on traffic.” Carmarthenshire Council’s head of planning Eifion Bowen said all planning applications were considered without undue delay.

He added that the council could have been criticised for avoiding the application and losing the opportunity for a local decision.

He said: “Detailed comments were made on behalf of Carmarthenshire Council in respect of the earlier application which were taken into account when dealing with the later application.”

He dismissed the claim that the council would be open to prosecution by the EU on a misunderstanding of the law.

He said: “The target time for determining this kind of application is 16 weeks.

“The application was reported to the planning committee 24 weeks after receipt and could not be considered to have been rushed through.”

Mr Bowen said three other applications were being considered in the county.


18 April 2007

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