A Swansea Valley village could see an Aberfan style disaster if plans for a wind farm high on a hillside get the go ahead, it has been claimed.
Concerns have been raised during a public meeting held in Ystalyfera to oppose the siting of wind turbines on Farteg mountain, which dominates the village, by a company called Ystalyfera Wind Energy Ltd.
Campaigners say the mountainside is riddled with old mine workings and is unstable with evidence of previous mini-landslides there for all to see and that construction work on the steep-sided mountain could cause a major landslip.
It was pointed out that Ystalyfera had already seen how unstable the area could be when a landslip on the mountain across the valley closed a main road for several months last year.
Reg Atherton, a member of a community group called Tegwch which organised the meeting, said: “There’s no guarantee what they will do to the mountain when they dig for these turbines. It could make the mountain unstable. There are 6 or 7 old mines up there and there are changes to the mountain all the time.”
One resident said: “If you live in the area you will know that the mountain is quite unstable. It is riddled with old mine workings. There have been 24 recent landslips on Varteg face, which is obviously very geologically unstable.”
It was pointed out that there was a farm and housing at the foot of the mountain as well as Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera welsh school which is currently being expanded.
Another resident said: “You spend millions of pounds building a new school and then it could bring the mountain down and it would be another Aberfan.”
The application which has been lodged with Neath Port Talbot Council is for four 115m turbines but the company has said it hopes to eventually site 12 turbines on the mountain top.
Residents are being encouraged to write to the council to object to the plans.
There were no representatives from the developer at the meeting.
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