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Residents rejoice as council reject plans for new wind farm

Plans for eight giant wind turbines in Maerdy have been rejected by councillors.

Rhondda Cynon Taf planning officers had recommended the council approve the proposals.

But the plans, submitted by the Wiltshire-based Renewable Energy Partnerships, were rejected by a majority of the council’s planning committee.

The application called for eight new turbines, some as high as Big Ben, between Maerdy coal tip and Tynewydd Forest.

Linda Clarke, from Treorchy, has campaigned against the wind farms for two years.

Speaking after the Development Control meeting held at RCT HQ week she said: “It has taken decades for our valleys to overcome the ravages of mining.

“The turbines are over 100ft, taller than Big Ben, which stands out among the sky scrapers of London.

“I’m also extremely worried about health issues.

“We are all absolutely delighted that the council has seen sense.”

Maerdy Councillor Gerwyn Evans said: “The council recommendation was to approve.

“But I went against that because the people here don’t support wind farms.

“This has been imposed on us by the Welsh Assembly, their policy is to designate areas, with Rhondda being one of them.

“There are two very large reservoirs in Maerdy – I propose we look at water power.

“It would also create long term jobs.

“People don’t want wind farms – we are just recovering from the coal industry.”

The developer had promised to create a £1m trust fund for Maerdy and Treorchy if the plans were approved.

Richard Hadwin, director of Renewable Energy Partnerships, now plans to appeal the decision.

He said: “After years of work, by the Welsh Assembly and the local authority, this project was recommended for approval by officers as a balanced response to climate change.

“This meeting was to decide on local action to tackle the greatest and gravest threat to our planet. Councillors debated this important and complex application for just 45 minutes.

“This is a wind farm that has been in the public arena for years and which thousands of people know about.

“However there were only five objectors speaking at the meeting.

“The reasons behind the decision are difficult to understand.”

The application was rejected with only seven councillors voting in favour.

by Chris Haines, Rhondda Leader

WalesOnline

17 July 2008