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Inspector backs council decision on wind farm  

Credit:  by Robin Turner, Western Mail, www.walesonline.co.uk 23 February 2011 ~~

A controversial scheme to site a wind farm high above Swansea has been rejected by a planning inspector.

The inspector backed Swansea council’s rejection of a plan by RWE npower Renewables for 19 turbines, each 216ft tall, at Mynydd y Gwair.

Swansea Civic Society, the Open Spaces Society, various community councils and the Gower Society were among objectors to the scheme.

They said the giant turbines would kill rare birds including red kites, spoil views from the Gower Peninsula and the Brecon Beacons, and only produce intermittent power.

But RWE said the Assembly Government’s renewable energy targets were being “handsomely” missed and projects such as Mynydd y Gwair were the only hope of meeting them.

The wind farm was planned on land owned by one of Britain’s richest men, the Duke of Beaufort, via his Somerset Trust.

But opponents included one of Wales’ richest men, Gren Thomas, the Swansea-born engineer turned diamond mine explorer.

Glyn Morgan, of Save our Common Mountain Environment, said the decision would “save the outstanding natural environment surrounding Swansea”.

“This land is an outstanding resource for upland farming and fantastic amenity for Swansea. It should never be industrialised,” he said.

Local councillor Ioan Richard added: “We are delighted the inspector backed Swansea council’s decision to save this part of our heritage.”

An RWE spokesman said: “We are clearly very disappointed the Assembly Government has rejected the opportunity to construct the Mynydd y Gwair wind farm in support of its own already challenging low carbon energy targets.

“However we are pleased to note the inspector found the site to be generally acceptable for a wind farm of this type and size but had concerns about the detail of the proposal and its impact on peat land habitat.”

Source:  by Robin Turner, Western Mail, www.walesonline.co.uk 23 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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