The Open Spaces Society is dismayed that Swansea Council’s planning committee has approved an application for 16 wind-turbines on Mynydd y Gwair common.
The society was one of the many objectors.
The planning committee approved the scheme from RWE npower renewables by 27 votes to
The Open Spaces Society argued that the turbines will destroy the magnificent stretch of unspoilt common land, eight miles north of Swansea.
Says Kate Ashbrook, the Society’s general secretary, “We are horrified that the council has approved such a damaging development on a prominent local beauty-spot. Mynydd y Gwair gives pleasure to numerous walkers and riders, with its open access and fine views.
“However, all is not yet lost. Because the land is common, RWE npower will have to obtain the additional consent of the Welsh Government for works on the common and may be required to provide suitable land in exchange for that to be taken. That may prove impossible, as nothing can compensate for the beautiful land to be destroyed.
“The society is notified of all such applications and we shall object to the works being sited on common land,” Kate affirmed.
The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body. It campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them.
Common land is land subject to rights of common, to graze animals or collect wood for instance, or waste land of the manor not subject to rights. There are approximately 175,000 hectares of common land in Wales. The public has the right to walk on all commons, and to ride on many of them. Before any works can be constructed on common land the applicant must obtain the consent of the Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development (via the Planning Inspectorate) under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, in addition to any planning permission. In the case of larger developments such as this one, the applicant is required to provide suitable land in exchange under section 16 of the Commons Act 2006, and to obtain consent for this from the minister.