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Criticism over the way a Swansea Valley windfarm community pot will be carved up  

Credit:  By Liz Perkins | South Wales Evening Post | September 08, 2016 | www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk ~~

Plans to carve up a community cash pot linked to a controversial wind farm project across the whole of Swansea has come under fire.

Members of Pontarddulais Community Council feel the funding should be allocated to areas directly affected by the development and some also outlined their opposition to the Mynydd y Gwair scheme.

But it is hoped the proposal will get off the ground in January following a battle to block it for close to 20 years.

Councillor John Miles, during the town council meeting at St Teilo Street, said they would not be in a financial position to challenge the scheme now.

He said: “The only way this could be challenged is through a judicial review but it would cost £40,000.

“All the traffic will be coming off Bolgoed Road. We are talking about 14,000 movements of lorries coming in.”

He made clear he believed affected wards including Pontlliw and Pontarddulais should be among those who should benefit from an injection from the cash pot of £240,000.

Mr Miles added: “There was an initial consultation that the community fund would service the effective wards and there will be a fair split.”

Councillor Clive Mathias said: “Why should the community fund be given anything when they are not affected by the windfarm.

“I do not see why Gower have to benefit from what we have to put up with.”

RWE representatives took on board the concerns raised and said the fund would be independently administered and that SCVS (Swansea Council For Voluntary Service) had been suggested.

But Councillor Dai Beynon said: “Where is the money coming from – we totally oppose the windfarm. The fight is still going on. We haven’t given up yet – the fight has gone on for 20 years. We do not want your blood money.”

Gwenllian Elias, RWE project manager, said they hoped the scheme would go ahead by January and she was keen for members of the town council to be involved in discussions.

She said: “I appreciate you have genuine concerns and I hope we can work together and address this when we are moving forward.

“We suggested a split to the fund rather than a Swansea wide fund which the local authority suggested.

“There was a suggestion that it could be the SCVS. It is for RWE to decide who will administer the fund.”

Miss Elias said when they originally decided upon the fund they drew a circle around the windfarm of affected areas but she stressed it would be subject to a further consultation.

“We will decommission the wind farm after 25 years,” she added.

Source:  By Liz Perkins | South Wales Evening Post | September 08, 2016 | www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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