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Council at loggerheads over mountain site for massive wind farm development scheme  

Swansea Council is fighting controversial plans for a £16 million wind farm that would be visible for miles around on the mountain at Betws, near Ammanford.

Carmarthenshire Council planning chiefs have recommended the plans for approval despite strong opposition.

But Swansea Council has drawn attention to “the acknowledged adverse environmental impacts of the proposed development”.

The authority says the Environmental Statement supporting the application “fails to adequately assess the cumulative visual, landscape, noise and human impacts” of the proposal “together with any proposed wind farm development on Mynydd-y- Gwair”.

In a statement to Carmarthenshire, Swansea Council says that, if it approves the application, it would “prejudice the proper consideration of any planning application for wind farm development on Mynydd-y- Gwair.”

Some 473 letters of objection to 16 wind turbines at Mynydd y Betws were received by Carmarthenshire Council.

Objectors are worried about the impact on local wildlife and the visual effect of the turbines, which will be more than 100 metres high.

Locals also say the huge turbines will put off walkers and horse riders using public footpaths and bridleways.

The impact on health linked to low-frequency noise is another worry cited by those opposed to the turbines.

Fears have also been voiced over the impact on local property values.

Councils and community councils have voiced their worries over the scheme in official objections to Cardiff-based Cambrian Renewable Energy’s plan.

Neath Port Talbot Council said the plan would “create an unacceptable visual intrusion to the local areas, particularly from Brynaman, Tai’rgwaith and Gwaun-cae-Gurwen.”

The Brecon Beacons National Park has concerns that the turbines, when added to other proposed wind farms, could form an “uninterrupted band of wind farm development along the national park’s southern border”, which would be “visually damaging”.

The planning report to councillors says 106 local companies have been identified who would be eligible to tender for work on the project.

The construction, operational and decommissioning phases would be worth around £16.3 million.

There is also a potential £5 million to £10 million of local procurement, which could arise from community benefit from the scheme.

The issue will be debated by Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee today at County Hall, Carmarthen.

South Wales Evening Post

19 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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