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Protesters’ joy as wind turbine bid blown down  

Credit:  By Richard Youle www.thisissouthwales.co.uk 23 February 2011 ~~

Jubilant wind farm campaigners celebrating the dismissal of an appeal have issued a defiant message to turbine developers: “Mynydd y Gwair is not for sale.”

They are celebrating after Assembly-appointed planning inspector Stuart Wild dismissed the appeal by energy company RWE npower renewables because of the potential harm it would cause to the local peat habitat.

The company wanted to install 19 127-metre turbines to generate clean electricity at Mynydd y Gwair, north of Felindre.

Campaigner Glyn Morgan said he hoped the decision would send out a strong message. “Mynydd y Gwair is not for sale,” he said.

Mr Morgan, chairman of Socme (Save Our Common Mountain Environment), said the group was “totally delighted”.

He said: “It has been a hard struggle for the supporters of Socme and the community of Mawr.

“Seven years it has taken us. Let’s hope that npower and other wind farm developers realise that Mynydd y Gwair is not a suitable place to put wind turbines.”

Mr Morgan, a farmer who lives on land adjoining Mynydd y Gwair, added: “It is a valuable water and food resource. We want to keep our outstanding natural heritage surrounding Swansea.

“And we would like to thank everybody involved with Socme and those who supported us financially, mentally and physically.”

Ioan Richard, councillor for Mawr, has opposed wind farm plans for Mynydd y Gwair for 18 years. He said: “I am over the moon.”

RWE said the turbines had the capacity to generate power for 28,100 households. It lodged an appeal because it took so long for Swansea Council to rule on the application.

Last July, barristers for RWE and the council, plus representatives of Socme, gave evidence at an inquiry in the Dylan Thomas Centre.

The developers argued the scheme should be approved because Assembly wind energy targets “have been handsomely missed”, and that Wales and the UK must generate more power from renewable sources.

The council said the wind farm’s visual and landscape impact would outweigh strategic energy objectives, while Socme expressed fears about its impact on the lives of farmers and graziers.

Source:  By Richard Youle www.thisissouthwales.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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