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Developers eye winds of change  

Windfarm developers are eyeing a hillside in the Dulais Valley where more than a dozen turbines could soon be going up.

Bosses at Acciona Energy today revealed they are likely to put in a planning application later this year.

Villagers have already given the proposals a mixed reception, but they are being offered the chance to find out more.

The land in question is situated to the east of Crynant and Seven Sisters and joins forestry on Hirfynydd.

The company, which began investigating the site some years ago, says it will set aside money from the wind farm for projects that would benefit surrounding villages.

Senior development manager Mike Paffey said: “We believe this site offers one of the best opportunities for developing a project which will help meet our future energy needs from renewable sources and won’t have a negative effect on the environment.

“We have a proven track record of developing projects sensitively and in close co-operation with local communities.

“We are totally committed to full and frank discussion with the surrounding communities and are keen for people living here to provide us with their suggestions on the community benefits they would like to see.” If the detailed investigations found a development was feasible, he said, a planning application for up to 14 turbines would be made to Neath Port Talbot Council later in the year.

Mr Paffey said Acciona had already distributed informative leaflets to residents, complete with a tear-off slip which they could use to send suggestions for community projects.

Public exhibitions would also take place from noon to 8pm at Crynant Community Centre on June 11 and Seven Sisters Community Hall on June 13.

Crynant community councillor Barry Michaels said there was mixed opinion in the village.

“It is inevitable something was going to happen here as this is designated as a wind farm area,” he added.

“I accept we have a role to play, but we don’t want the area to become saturated – this is a narrow valley and a small village.

“I’m from a construction and engineering background and without alternative power the future will be pretty bleak.

“A lot of people don’t want the intrusion of windfarms, but they are realistic.”

By Paul Lewis and Helen Keats

South Wales Evening Post

5 June 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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