Ospreys fans are being urged to switch their allegiance to the Scarlets after the Swansea-based region’s bosses lent their backing to a controversial wind farm application.
Mawr councillor Ioan Richard made the call after Andrew Hore, chief operations officer for the Ospreys rugby region, spoke out in support of the proposal to site 16 127 metre high turbines on Mynydd y Gwair.
Mr Hore, along with joint managing director of the region, Roger Blyth, were there to support the bid by energy firm RWE for the scheme.
Swansea Council voted by 27 votes to 24, with two abstentions in support of the proposal.
Campaigners have been fighting long and hard for the past decade against the scheme.
A previous application by the company to have 19 turbines was eventually turned down following an appeal.
Mr Richard, who was unable to vote after declaring a prejudicial interest, criticised the Ospreys’ direct involvement in the scheme.
He said: “It was a disgrace that the Ospreys were allowed to take part and destroy centuries of hill farming in the area and I would urge the people of Swansea to support the Scarlets in the future.”
Mr Hore, chief operations officer for the Ospreys rugby region, revealed they had considered the players wearing green jerseys due to their long-running sponsorship deal with the renewable energy company, which has been in place since 2007.
He spoke in favour of the development during the course of the meeting and added: “We feel the young people need role models and need employment.
“It’s no use walking around the hills if there is acid rain falling down on you.”
But Mr Richard said he was angered that the decision had gone in favour of the wind farm developer. “With only a few notable exceptions, it was the Labour councillors who approved the wind power station,” he said.
The decision also drew criticism from Byron Davies and Suzy Davies, Conservative AMs for South Wales West.
Mr Davies claimed the turbines would be an eyesore on the Swansea landscape.
He said: “It will be an ugly backdrop to Swansea and the Gower Peninsula. I am against TAN 8 (the Welsh Government’s policy on potential wind farm zones in Wales) and the way it was set up.
“I was very surprised to hear some of the arguments of the Labour members.
“There are lots of people in that area who rely on that land for their livelihoods.”
Suzy Davies added she too was disgusted that the scheme had been rubber-stamped.
“I was disgusted by the decision and that there were so few councillors there to make it,” she said. “There were considerably fewer than a full quarter.
“With so much evidence against any form of development up there for heritage reasons, isn’t it ironic so many Labour councillors voting to give millions to the Somerset Trust, which helps manage the estate of the Duke of Beaufort?”