A £35 million wind farm has been given the go-ahead at an Amman Valley beauty spot, despite some 500 objections. Carmarthenshire Council planners approved an application from Cambrian Renewable Energy for 16 turbines on Mynydd y Betws. each standing at 110 metres.
The move comes despite calls by Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Adam Price for a moratorium on wind farm developments in Carmarthenshire.
Cambrian Renewable Energy and Eco2 managing director David Williams said: “We are delighted that Carmarthenshire Council is taking global climate change very seriously.
“This is an important decision for the locality and for Wales.
“The total financial benefits to local businesses and the community will be up to £30 million, with a trust fund being set up which, with matched funding, would donate £200,000 a year to local community projects and initiatives.”
Objectors claimed the development would affect wildlife, agriculture, house prices, the scenic beauty of the area, health due to noise, and road safety during construction. Swansea Council also objected to the development.
The authority said the environmental statement supporting the application “fails to adequately assess the cumulative visual, landscape, noise and human impacts” of the proposal.
Anne Sizmur, representing Betws Community Council, which objected to the application, said: “The impact of the turbines will stop people visiting the mountain.”
Ivor Russell, of the Carmarthenshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, said: “It is time for a reappraisal of all the elements of climate change.
“In particular, industrialisation of the uplands of Wales which causes maximum environmental loss for minimum gain.”
Head of planning Eifion Bowen said: “While recognising the impact on the landscape, the committee recognised its obligation to meet Assembly targets for renewable energy generation.”
By Arthur Williams
22 June 2007
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