Developers today abandoned plans for a South Wales wind farm.
E.on blamed noise nuisance for its decision to pull out of a scheme for eight 280ft turbines on mountains overlooking the Rhondda.
The utility giant’s head of new business, Danny Shaw, said: “We certainly didn’t take this decision lightly but, as a responsible developer, we simply wouldn’t be willing to build a scheme that we thought had the potential to exceed acceptable noise limits.
“We’ve looked at a number of solutions to make this project work but, ultimately, we’ve determined that the largest scheme possible for the site would be under 5MW, which is not big enough to meet our criteria for new onshore wind developments.
“Though the project is no longer viable for us, other developers might be more than interested in taking this project forward.”
A spokesman denied any other factors influenced the decision to pull the scheme and insisted E.on was “committed to renewable energy”.
Campaigner John Asquith, 51, of Blaenllechau, led objections to the plans.
He said today: “This is what we were saying all along. The planning permission still exists but anybody thinking of moving in should take very careful notice of this.
“It feels good to be vindicated.”
Friends of the Earth Cymru director Gordon James said: “I’m disappointed and I find this rather baffling. It’s a surprising decision.
“Noise isn’t a problem. A massive structure survey has been done looking at noise issues and there simply aren’t any issues anymore. Modern wind turbines are very quiet.”
The project, which would have seen turbines sited on Mynydd Ty’n Tyle, which lies between Ferndale and Ystrad, was a joint venture with the Arts Factory, an independent Development Trust based in the Rhondda.
Supporters claimed it would generate enough energy to power 6,000 homes a year, but 3,000 residents signed a petition opposing the plans because of the visual and aural impact.
Planning permission was initially rejected by Rhondda Cynon Taf councillors by a 25-2 majority, but overturned following a National Assembly public inquiry.
Ben Glaze, Media Wales
2 July 2008
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