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Dulais Valley wind farm recommended for refusal

A wind farm development proposed for the Dulais Valley has been recommended for refusal by planning chiefs.

Wind Ventures Ltd is proposing to operate a 27 MW wind farm with nine wind turbines with a maximum height of 125 metres on land east of Crynant and south of Seven Sisters.

In a report, the council’s head of planning Nicola Pearce, said a series of public exhibitions have been held by the applicant in 2007.

Further exhibitions were held in 2008 and in 2011, following an amended proposal, which reduced the number of turbines from 14 to nine.

Ms Pearce said: “Thirty-eight individual letters and three petitions – with 571 signatures – have been received objecting to the proposal.”

The reasons included an impact on tourism, that the development would be overwhelming, noise and visual impact.

Crynant Community Council raised public safety issues, that three of the turbines would be close to a Roman fort and the full effects of noise on public health have not been fully explored.

The report also states that the wind farm would “sterilise a significant portion of the Aberpergwm mine underground coal reserves and also potential surface mine future prospects”.

Two letters of support were received on the grounds that the development would provide short and long term employment.

The applicant has offered to provide a community benefit contribution which would amount to between £54,000 and £108,000 per year.

Ms Pearce said the reasons for recommended refusal is that “the proposal would adversely impact on future operations planned at Aberpergwm Mine and it has not been demonstrated that these risks could be satisfactorily mitigated against”.

Councillors will meet to discuss the application tomorrow at 2pm.