Wind farm plans which generated huge controversy in the Afan Valley have suffered a massive blow.
Neath Port Talbot planning officers have advised councillors to throw out Eco2’s proposal to put four giant turbines on Mynydd Corrwg Fechan overlooking Glyncorrwg.
At 125 metres, they would have been some of the biggest in Wales, around 34 metres taller than those already in place at Ffynnon Oer in the same valley.
The authority’s planning committee is due to make a final decision on the 12MW scheme on Tuesday, but, sensing victory, delighted campaigners have welcomed the officers’ stance.
“This is a great Christmas present,” said Glyncorrwg Action Group chairman Lindsay Milsom.
“I’m over the moon. Hopefully this will send out a message to other companies wishing to bring wind farms to the area not to bother.”
The turbines would have been just 110 metres from a public right of way and about a kilometre from the nearest home.
Apart from the turbines, Cardiff- based Eco2 also wanted to put up a wind monitoring mast, lay new access tracks, and construct a substation and control building.
Each turbine would have had 45- metre blades and would have generated up to 3MW.
But in a report, head of planning Geoff White said: “The benefit of providing 12MW of renewable energy at this location does not outweigh the impact that it would cause to the local landscape.”
The Eco2 plans had sparked widespread protests from the surrounding community.
Neath Port Talbot Council received 291 letters of objection listing 51 reasons for opposition, as well as a petition signed by 1,238 people.
Local politicians including Aberavon MP Hywel Francis (left) and AM Brian Gibbons came out against the plans.
“I fully support the action group’s stance on this development,” said Dr Gibbons.
“I have said from the outset that this development is far too close to people’s homes – well inside a mile in some instances.
“In light of the concerns, I hope the local authority gives full consideration to the numerous valid concerns of the local community, and rejects this application.”
By Rob Westall
8 December 2007
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