First Minister Carwyn Jones’ opposition to the establishment of wind farms in rural areas must apply to a proposal to build the biggest development in Wales in the Afan Valley, politicians have demanded.
Aberavon MP Dr Hywel Francis and local AM David Rees have spoken out as Swedish energy firm Nuon bids to erect 79 wind turbines, each nearly three times the height of the 169ft Nelson’s Column, on land south of the A465 Heads of the Valleys road.
Much of the wind farm would be in Afan Valley communities such as Glyncorrwg and objectors say up to a million trees would be felled and areas of peat land, which act as “CO2 sinks” would be disturbed.
Neath Port Talbot Council has decided not to object to the scheme and Nuon, which needs Government approval, says the project will create jobs and help meet CO2 reduction targets.
In a joint statement yesterday, Dr Francis and Mr Rees said: “We welcome First Minister, Carwyn Jones’ statement to seek the limitation of windfarm developments in Welsh rural areas and we would confidently expect and anticipate this also to include Welsh rural valley areas such as the Upper Afan Valley in the Aberavon constituency where there is strong community opposition.
“We also welcome his intentions to seek the devolution of planning powers for major energy projects such as the large Prenergy Biomass plant in Port Talbot which continues to have strong community opposition.”
They added: “’We support our local residents in their opposition to these large scale developments and would ask the First Minister to recognise the scale of this local opposition.”
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