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Wind farm turbines proposal scrapped

Anti-wind farm campaigners are celebrating after a plan to build 14 turbines was scrapped.

Gamesa Energy UK wanted to erect the 145-ft-windmills in Gilfach Goch, between Pontypridd and Bridgend. The company hoped the £9.5m windfarm would generate enough electricity to supply 6,600 homes a year.

But residents campaigned vigorously against the plan because they claimed that, coupled with five other wind farm schemes planned for the area, it would leave the communities of Gilfach Goch, Evanstown and others in the valleys above Bridgend, surrounded by turbines.

Ogmore AM Janice Gregory said she believed Gamesa withdrew their planning application because it was likely a full public inquiry would be held into the scheme.

She said the latest development also comes hot on the heels of a report that refines the recommended areas in which wind farms should be sited.

The document, produced by the planning consultancy Arup, identifies much of the land surrounding Gilfach Goch and Evanstown as unsuitable for wind farms.

Mrs Gregory said: “The news that Gamesa has withdrawn its application is a great boost to the campaign.

“However, the remaining planning applications mean the fight is not over. There is a great deal of opposition to these proposals locally, with the petition organised by myself and Ogmore MP Huw Irranca-Davies collecting almost 700 signatures in a very short period.”

A spokeswoman for Rhondda Cynon Taf council said: “Gamesa originally submitted an application to us and then appealed on the grounds of non-determination.

“That appeal went to the Welsh Assembly Government’s planning inspectorate who decided there should be a public inquiry.”

by Abby Alford

South Wales Echo


3 July 2007