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Wind farm plans on show to public

Bosses behind controversial plans for a Neath wind farm are laying their cards on the table. Detailed plans of their proposal are being offered to the public at a series of exhibitions across the area.

It’s feared the proposal could be the first in a series, with up to 50 being developed in the area.

The proposal for up to 15 wind turbines in Maesgwyn will be displayed at venues in Onllwyn, Seven Sisters and Glynneath.

The application for the wind farm has divided public opinion since it was submitted.

Supporters claim such developments will pave the way for Wales to become a world leader in renewable energy.

Objectors argue the turbines will intrude on their lives and affect house prices.

Plans previously seen by the Evening Post show the Maesgwyn turbines, to be situated on the hillside between Glynneath and the Dulais Valley, will be 115 metres at their highest point.

Councillor for Glynneath Del Morgan said he had heard mixed views about the plans and would encourage people to be as informed as possible.

Councillor Morgan said: “I would urge everyone who has the opportunity to go along and find out everything they can about the proposals.”

He said residents would also be able to send in comments or objections to the plans.

Alternatively, he said people would be welcome to express their views at the monthly surgeries held by himself and his fellow ward member, Councillor Horace Lewis.

The application for the wind farm at Maesgwyn was submitted by renewable energy company Pennant Walters, which has its head office in Hirwaun. On their website, the company claims the wind farm would supply clean energy to the equivalent of approximately 30,000 homes.

Two 60-metre wind-measuring masts were approved by planning in May 2006 and are now recording wind data from the site.

The exhibitions will be held at Onllwyn Welfare Hall today, from noon to 7pm, at Seven Sisters Community Hall on Wednesday, from noon to 7pm, and at Glynneath Town Hall on Friday, from noon to 7pm.

Representatives from the council’s planning department, along with those of the applicant, will be present to answers question about the proposals.

By Emma Denholm

Evening Post

14 August 2007