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Family of rugby star Shane Williams join fight to block road build  

Credit:  South Wales Evening Post, www.thisissouthwales.co.uk 13 October 2011 ~~

While Wales rugby star Shane Williams is making history on the other side of the world, his wife and children are battling to protect their family home.

Irish electricity firm ESB has been granted planning permission for a 15 turbine wind farm on Mynydd y Betws by Carmarthenshire Council, but a row has blown up over the building of a new access road to the site.

The entrance, on the A474 just before Cwmgors, is directly opposite the home of Shane’s father-in-law, Sean Lacey.

Angry placard waving protesters, including Shane’s wife Gail, son Carter and Mr Lacey, gathered on the road yesterday to highlight their concerns.

Mr Lacey said: “Shane is fully aware of our fight, he has been to several protest meetings and if he wasn’t out there trying to win the world cup for his country he would be here with us. He’s a top guy.”

Of their concerns, he added: “You have low loaders going in and heavy goods vehicles. There were around 100 vehicles on Tuesday, they have even been reversing out onto the road.

“It is a 60mph road and there are no traffic lights or signs. I fear somebody will get killed.

Home

“We live right opposite the site. My daughter is with us every day, it’s the family home.”

The access road is in the county of Neath Port Talbot, which therefore had to rule on whether it could be built.

Neath Port Talbot councillor for the Pontardawe ward Linet Purcell, said: “As planning committee members we rely on the advice and guidance of council officers.

“It would have been hoped this situation could have been foreseen and avoided in order to protect the residents.”

Mrs Purcell said she believed Neath Port Talbot Council had made a “massive error” as she claimed temporary traffic lights and a speed restriction will not required until the actual wind farm construction begins some time next year.

A spokesman for ESB maintained it had full permission for the work.

He said: “If you start construction you have to get your plant and machinery there. We have a legitimate reason to be there. We haven’t broken any planning regulations.

“The planning officer from Neath Port Talbot was on site on Tuesday and had no problems with what we were doing.”

The firm insisted disruption would be kept to a minimum.

“They will start building the road from the inside so the impact for this community will be minimal,” he said.

Source:  South Wales Evening Post, www.thisissouthwales.co.uk 13 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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