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Wind farm campaigners consider court action  

Credit:  by Robin Turner, Western Mail, www.walesonline.co.uk 2 February 2011 ~~

Campaigners against plans for the biggest onshore wind farm in Wales and England could seek a judicial review against a council decision not to object to the controversial scheme.

Swedish firm Nuon proposes 79 wind turbines, each nearly three times the height of the 169ft Nelson’s Column, on land south of the Heads of the Valleys road.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change will decide on the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm, which will be visible from Margam Country Park, the Brecon Beacons, Gower and other South Wales sites.

Last month, Neath Port Talbot Council, a major consultee on the scheme, as many turbines will be above the Afan Valley village of Glyncorrwg, decided not to object, meaning a public inquiry is much less likely.

But now, Rob Slater of the Glyncorrwg Action Group has revealed the campaigners are consulting with Cardiff solicitors Russell, Jones and Walker over a possible challenge to the way the crucial meeting was conducted.

Former teacher Mr Slater says he is concerned that the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority was not consulted by the council for its views on the scheme.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is to give its views on the Nuon proposal soon as many of the turbines will in the Rhondda area.

In its response to Rhondda Cynon Taf, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority “objected strongly” on the grounds many of the turbines would be visible from the park.

Mr Slater said: “If the national park’s views had been heard it could have changed the councillors’ decision.”

The councillors voted by just two votes not to oppose the scheme, which the campaigners say will ruin a growing tourism industry in the Afan Valley based on fishing, hiking and mountain biking.

Solicitor Michael Imperato, of Russell, Jones and Walker, said: “Judical review is the process where a court of law is asked to rule on the appropriateness of a decision.

“The action group tell us they have a number of concerns about the way the meeting went and we have agreed to look into the complaints.”

A spokeswoman for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “We can confirm we were not consulted by Neath Port Talbot Council over the application.”

Source:  by Robin Turner, Western Mail, www.walesonline.co.uk 2 February 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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