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Wind farm opponents’ fresh blow  

Credit:  South Wales Evening Post, www.thisissouthwales.co.uk 7 October 2011 ~~

Campaigners fighting a huge new wind farm straddling two Neath and Port Talbot valleys have been dealt a heavy blow.

There has been intense opposition to the Pen y Cymoedd development, which would run above the upper Afan and Neath valleys.

Nuon Renewables is proposing to build nearly 80 turbines there.

Neath Port Talbot Council decided not to object to the application when its planning committee met to consider it earlier this year.

Now hopes that neighbouring Rhondda Cynon Taf Council could force a public inquiry by objecting to the wind farm have been dashed.

Its planning committee has followed Neath Port Talbot’s example and decided not to oppose it.

Cymmer member Scott Jones, who was one of many councillors to speak out during the earlier hearing, said the views of people were not being listened to.

“Residents were not very happy at the decision taken by Neath Port Talbot Council,” he said.

“They have been waiting for a long time for a public inquiry, so they are not going to be very happy when they hear about this latest decision.”

The Glyncorrwg Action Group in the upper Afan Valley has already condemned the plans, of which spokesman Bob Slater claimed: “It will be disastrous for the village.

“It will have an overbearing visual impact over the people in Glyncorrwg.”

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales has also objected to the development because of its potential impact on a sensitive peat habitat.

Nuon has pledged to contribute about £1.85 million annually to a community fund and invest £3million in a habitat restoration scheme.

A spokesman for Nuon said: “We are very pleased with this decision as Pen y Cymoedd represents a substantial inward investment that will bring major benefits to the local economy.

“Over its 25-year lifetime, Pen y Cymoedd will inject more than £1 billion into the local economy.

“We will support the retention and creation of around 300 jobs during the construction phase and 50 permanent jobs thereafter.”

The final decision rests with the Department for Energy and Climate Change, as the Welsh Government has no say over such developments.

And there could be more turbines on the way, as Gamesa Energy UK has put forward plans for 15 turbines near the village of Abergwynfi.

Mr Jones said he fully supported renewable energy but Neath Port Talbot was having too many wind farms. “It’s time other parts of Wales had their fair share,” he added.

Source:  South Wales Evening Post, www.thisissouthwales.co.uk 7 October 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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