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Wind farm decision on hold

Planners have delayed a decision on a controversial wind farm at an Amman Valley beauty spot.Eco2 of Cardiff has applied to Carmarthenshire Council for planning permission to build 16 110m turbines on Mynydd y Betws, near Ammanford.

Planning chiefs recommended that the wind farm be approved.

But County Councillor for Glanaman, Colin Evans, called for a site visit when the application came up before the planning committee last Thursday.

He said: “Members must see for themselves the potential impact of this development.”

The council has received 131 objections, of which 27 were local.

The application also includes an anemometer mast, electrical substation and control building, electrical connections, and access roads.

Betws, Cwmaman, Llandybie, and Betws community councils have also objected to the application.

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council has also objected to the planned development, which, it says, would create a visual intrusion on local villages.

County Councillor for Betws, John Dorian Evans, is also concerned about the impact of the windfarm.

He said: “I am concerned about the difficulty of land restoration at the end of the project, mainly ground stability caused by old mine workings.

“The windfarm could also have an impact on wildlife, agriculture, house prices, health due to noise, and road safety during construction.”

County Councillor for Garnant, Kevin Madge, has also objected to the development.

He said: “I am concerned we could lose an area of outstanding environmental and scenic value.”

Planning officer David Poulter, in his report to the committee, said the Assembly Government’s policy was that 800MW of renewables capacity should be provided from onshore wind energy development.

The would mostly be in the form of a small number of large wind farms.

By Arthur Williams

South Wales Evening Post

9 June 2007