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Battle in Marchywel wind turbine appeal to begin

A campaign group against plans for wind turbines on a Neath mountain say they will argue that they will be seen across the whole of Neath, at an appeal starting today.

Neath Port Talbot Council refused an application from RES to build five turbines on Mynydd March Hywel in February.

But the company has appealed against the decision and a planning appeal hearing is set to take place from 10am at Neath Civic Centre. It is expected to last six days.

Simon Boex, chairman of the March Hywel Protection Group (MHPG), which includes residents from Cilfrew, Crynant and Rhos, said preparations have been under way for the hearing.

“Our Barrister, Tina Douglas and our landscape planning expert, Bettina Kirkham, are both down today to prepare us for the meeting,” he said yesterday.

“We’re hoping quite a lot of people will turn out for the start of it, because of the community feeling of the importance of this mountain.”

He said the turbines, if given the go-ahead, would be seen from as far away at Stockham’s Corner and even Cimla, adding: “They would be at the heart of Neath, not somewhere away from the population.

Chris Jackson, RES Project Manager, said: “We believe that RES has very strong grounds for appeal.

“We hope that, based on the evidence, the Planning Inspector will agree that the limited effect of the wind farm on some local views is far outweighed by the numerous renewable energy, social and economic benefits this well-designed project would deliver.”