Green energy campaigners have voiced dismay after their wind farm plans were blown away for the second time.
Last year, Awel Aman Tawe failed in its attempt to have a four-turbine farm developed on Mynydd y Gwrhyd, near Pontardawe, after exhausting all legal avenues.
Now, Neath Port Talbot Council planners have rejected a second application, this time for a two-turbine development.
Project manager Dan McCallum said: “We are very disappointed.
“The community voted in favour of the scheme through a referendum.
“We think it is vital that, with issues like climate change, renewables are brought forward.”
Awel Aman Tawe originally applied for permission to develop a four-turbine wind farm in 2004. Neath Port Talbot Council refused the application in 2005, and an appeal was lodged.
In September 2006, an Assembly Government planning inspector upheld the authority’s decision, which then prompted a judicial review.
In October 2007, a judge ruled that the appeal be dismissed.
Mr McCallum told the Post it was too early to say whether the latest rejection would be challenged.
“We will need to have a meeting of the trustees to consider it carefully,” he added.
Councillors refused the application on the advice of head of planning Geoff White.
He said it would create an unacceptable visual intrusion for the community and landscape.
“Generally, in relation to renewable energy, our Unitary Development Plan supports such proposals – provided the impacts are acceptable,” said Mr White.
“However, the proposal was considered to be contrary to our policy that seeks to protect significant skylines, views and panoramas by resisting developments that would have unacceptable impacts on the landscape.
“In addition, the communities of Gwaun-cae- Gurwen and Tai’rgwaith are dominated by the overburden mounds of the East Pit opencast site, and, to a lesser extent, the Pwllfawatkin landfill site.
“If the proposal had been given the go-ahead, these areas would be surrounded by developments that detract from the rural landscape, which goes against planning policy.”
20 June 2008
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