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Fears ‘monster turbines’ would overshadow village

A proposed new windfarm on Margam Mountain could see part of Maesteg and the village of Bryn overshadowed by 750ft high turbines, a regional MS has warned.

South West Wales MS Suzy Davies has held a virtual meeting with the development partnership between Uk-based Coriolis Energy Ltd and Ireland’s ESB.

They are currently exploring the possibility of creating Y Bryn Windfarm on land stretching across the mountain from Brombil through Bryn and over to Nantyfyllon and Caerau along the flank of Garnwen Mountain.

At the moment, they have had planning permission from Neath Port Talbot planners to erect a Met Mast which will measure wind speeds and velocities.

If they decide to proceed, the windfarm would consist of 26 turbines each up to 750ft high on land owned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which offered renewable energy companies the chance to develop this block of woodland in a competitive bidding process.

Coriolis will need to apply for full planning consent if they choose to proceed and their application will be backed by NRW.

Mrs Davies said she had reservations about this scheme.

She said: “These are monster turbines which will dwarf many of the other turbines that have been put up in this area in the past.

“They will be visible from the M4 at Margam and will tower over the mountain. They will also completely dominate Bryn and will also be located on the hills above Maesteg.

“My main concern, apart from the visual effect on what is a beautiful area, is the cumulative impact.

“There are already a number of windfarms in the hills above the Afan Valley stretching up to Cymmer, Glyncorrwg and the Bwlch. This area is part of Strategic Area F under the TAN8 regulations and this new scheme could generate up to a further 50 megawatts from wind.

“The maximum permitted under TAN8 for the whole of Area F is 430 megawatts and I fear that we are already close to that limit. This scheme could push us over.”

A spokesman for Coriolis said: “TAN8 set targets not limits, but in any case, these only ran until 2020 and TAN8 is currently being replaced by the new and very supportive ‘Future Wales: The National Plan 2040’ policy.”

Trevor Hunter, project manager from Coriolis Energy, said: “We’re very much at the early stages of developing proposals for Y Bryn, but have been working hard since winning the tender last year to develop our plans as we prepare to begin consultation with statutory bodies and local communities, which we hope to begin early next year.

“We fully appreciate the importance of this project at a national, regional, and local level, and Coriolis Energy and ESB are committed to best practice in our approach to working closely with stakeholders, technical consultees and the local communities as we progress through the pre-application consultation process over coming years.”