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  • This page is dedicated to news from other action groups in Wales

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Updates from around Wales (updated July 21st, 2010)

Mynydd y Gwair wind farm, North Swansea

Update July 16, 2010 - Timetable for Public Inquiry

The Public Inquiry runs from Tuesday to Friday each week from the 20th of July 2010, and starts at 9:30am each day.It is being held at The Dylan Thomas Centre, 1 Somerset Place , Swansea (After Sainsbury’s, follow sign’s to Dylan Thomas Centre – Parking is pay and display behind) Anyone can attend the inquiry, and anyone who wishes to speak at the inquiry and hasn’t already requested to do so can make their request known by attending the Inquiry on the first day (20th July) when the Inquiry opens. We respectfully ask if any of our loyal supporters could join us at the inquiry on any days possible (at any time during the day), ideally when SOCME witnesses are giving evidence.  We look forward to seeing you at the Inquiry and let’s hope we are successful.  Click here to download the timetable.

 

Many thanks once again for your continued support. Yours Sincerely, D Glyn Morgan, SOCME Chairman"

Update January, 2010 

January 21st was a good day for local democracy, as City and County of Swansea Councillors debated and rejected planning application 2008/1781, which seeks planning permission to erect 19 industrial wind turbines on Mynydd y Gwair, a beautiful unenclosed common that visually links the Gower AONB with the Brecon Beacons.

For details see SOCME website and an article in the Western Mail, 18 January 2010 by Robin Turner, for the full article click here "Energy firm Npower Renewables wants to establish a 19 turbine "wind farm" at Mynydd y Gwair.

A total of 1,602 letters and a 1,030-signature petition have been received by Swansea council against the scheme. The company wants to establish the wind farm on Duke of Beaufort-owned land at Mynydd y Gwair in the lower Swansea Valley claiming it can power 28,000 homes a year with clean energy.

The turbines, at 416ft high, will be almost as tall as the London Eye, bigger than Big Ben and bigger than Wales’ highest residential building, the Swansea Marina Meridian Quay Tower. The plan has proved hugely controversial particularly as an environmental impact assessment has made it clear it will affect red kite, golden plover and bat populations in the area. Swansea’s Civic Society says of the idea: “It is like creating another Port Talbot where an industrial site will be built in an area of natural beauty, something that would not be tolerated in a place like Surrey.”

A long list of objectors includes Gower MP Martin Caton and local AMs Edwina Hart, Dai Lloyd and Nick Bourne. Others against the scheme are the Gower Society which says the wind farm will “utterly destroy” the tranquility of Mynydd y Gwair Common and devastate CO2-retaining peat beds and be visible from Gower and the Brecon Beacons.
In July 2009 it was reported that the application soon to be considered has not had any wind statistics from any anemometers as no fewer than FIVE large monitoring masts were destroyed in succession in the hours of darkness by direct action - such is the local community hostility to the scheme. Npower has been forced to submit Wind Resource Assessments from a “Wind Atlas”.

Pendine wind farm extension

The application to expand the existing wind farms has received approval by the Carmarthenshire County Council. In July 2009 a local resident sent this email:

"You might be interested to know that the Parc Cynog extension is finally going ahead. This spring we’ve had innumerable lorry loads of concrete trundle across the hill above us (more than a dozen on one day alone!  So much for energy saving?) and last week the first turbine turned up and was erected immediately.  Attached is a photo to show how it sits above us. You can see the crane and the base of the turbine that is between us and our view of the Gower.  The blades are now attached and turning, albeit very slowly."

Nant-y-Moch wind farm

Dulais Ltd are preparing a plan for Airtricity consisting of 106 turbines (140m high) in a hilly area between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth (TAN8 SSA D). Some turbines would be within 1km of homes in the area. An action group is being formed - see www.windfarmvictims.org.uk . Click here to download a map of the area with the proposed turbine locations marked out. Zoom on the map to 150% to see the details.

Airtricity have website pages devoted to this project. Click here to see the site.

Betws Mountain (Mynydd y Betws) wind farm

June 2009 - Plans to build 15 wind turbines have been given the go-ahead by the Welsh Assembly Environment Minister Jane Davidson.

The council say the Mynydd y Betws wind farm will generate jobs and bring community benefits to the Amman Valley. The plans, which originally comprised of 16 turbines, were the subject of a public inquiry in 2008.The plan's backers eco2 say the wind farm could produce enough electricity for up to 23,800 households

This wind farm had received approval from the Carmarthenshire County Council planning committee but was called-in by the Welsh Assembly.  

Rhos Garn wind farm

November 2008, RES Ltd withdrew the appeal against the WAG regarding the Rhos Garn Wind Development.The reason given is: the Welsh Assembly have no policy regarding mid sized wind developments (below 25MW and above 5MW) The developer’s appeal against refusal of this development has been dismissed. Among the reasons for dismissal was proximity of turbines to homes and the subsequent loss in property values. The developers were preparing to challenge the outcome of the appeal.

Fforch Nest Wind Farm, Gilfach Goch

SWATT (South Wales Alternative to Turbines) needs help. Early in the 2009 New Year, Planning Applications are due to be heard for 22, 115m turbines at Fforch Nest and Pant y Wal Wind Farms (4 More components in the encirclement of the South Wales Valley Communities of Evanstown and Gilfach Goch  N E of Bridgend).

Please add your objection to the many local objections that have already been lodged.  Objections letters can be downloaded from the SWATT Web Site at www.swatt.org.uk/Object.html                            

Please note that as these plans straddle 2 Local Authority Boundaries there are 2 objection letters. One for Bridgend CBC covering two wind farms and access route, and one for Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC covering one wind farm. In order that SWATT might monitor the responses could you kindly advise them at www.swatt.org.uk/Contact.html

Mwdwl Eithin wind farm

Plans to build 12 wind turbines were refused by Conwy Council’s planning committee. Mwdwl Eithin is on the Southern Boundary of TAN8 SSA A (Clocaenog Forest). The application site is within the TAN8 boundary but outside the ConwyCBC/DenbighsireCC 'refined' area.

Glynneath wind farm

This 13-turbine wind farm at Maesgwyn, between Banwen and Glynneath has been approved by the Neath Port Talbot Council. The 115-metre turbines will be visible from Banwen, Resolven, Coelbren, Seven Sisters, Glynneath and Cwmgwrach.

     
Pen Y Cymoedd wind energy project - Coed Morgannwg forestry estate

Consultation began in January 2009 on a huge wind energy scheme in Neath Port Talbot. An article was published in the South wales Evening Post on January 5, 2009:

Nuon Renewables wants to build scores of giant wind turbines over a huge stretch of land between the Neath, Dulais, Afan and Rhondda valleys. Over 100 of the structures could spring up across a land mass running into tens of thousands of square metres. If approved by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the wind farm could be up and running by 2012/13.

The Pen y Cymoedd wind energy project would be built in the Coed Morgannwg forestry estate to the south of the Heads of the Valleys road (A465) between Neath and Aberdare; to the north of Maerdy, Treorchy and Glyncorrwg, and to the east of Tonmawr. It is expected to generate up to 300MW for the National Grid — compared with 350MW at the Prenergy woodchip power plant earmarked for Port Talbot docks.

The first stage of consultation with local communities regarding the Pen y Cymoedd project took place from January to March, 2009. The public will "be able to have a say and take part in the design stage of the project, looking at issues such as developing the wind farm layouts, reviewing key constraints and other technical issues". Eight drop-in events were held in january, all between 11.30am and 8.30pm: Neath Port Talbot: Tonmawr Rugby Club on Thursday, January 22; Glynneath Town Hall on Saturday, January 24; the Old Town Hall, Neath, on Thursday January 29, and in the Upper Afan Valley Sports Centre, Cymmer on Saturday, January 31.

Nuon Renewables' regional development manager Stephen Holdroyd, said: "Ongoing consultation with the local communities is a key commitment. We want to recognise all the potential benefits — financial, social, and environmental — that this development can bring to local communities and local businesses, whilst also fully recognising and tackling concerns and issues that people will have."

To add your comment to the South Wales Evening Post click here 

Blaen Bowi wind farm extension

The application to build three more turbines at this site have been refused by the Carmarthenshire County Council. One of the reasons for refusal was that noise levels, which already cause problems for some local residents, would be increased if more turbines are built. The developers are appealing this decision.  

Blaen Bowi Wind Farm Public Inquiry, the Inspectorate have confirmed that the scheduled date of the 4th Novem- ber has been cancelled. This follows a request from the applicants, WindJen, for the date to be postponed in order for further environmental information relating to noise to be prepared and advertised before it is placed before the Inspector. 

Mynydd y Gwrhyd wind farm

The application by Awel Aman Tawe to built four, then three, turbines near Tairgwaith, has been refused on both occasions by the Neath-Port Talbot Council. AAT appealed this final refusal but lost the appeal. They have resubmitted a new application for two turbines.

In May 2009, the Planning Inspectorate has now given permission for the two turbines of 100 metres height to be located on Mynydd y Gwrhyd (to the east of Cwngors and Gwaun Cae Gurwen, to the south of Gwrhyd and  Tairgwaith and to the west of Rhiwfawr) in spite of it being rejected by Neath Port Talbot local authority. Our regrets go to the Action Group and all that have been fighting this for so long.

Click here for the link to the Inspector's Decision  where you can read how Inspector Poppleton thinks the landscape impact etc is not significant! The decision can only be challenged in the High Court on legal points.

 

Llanbadarn Fynydd wind farm

NUON has submitted a planning application to erect 17 turbines just north of Llanbadarn Fynydd, which is set in a wild upland area bordering Montgomeryshire. The areas falls within TAN 8 SSA C. RES is about to submit an application for 33 turbines on upland adjacent to the NUON site and there is a consortium of local farmers ready to submit an application for a further 29 on land near the existing Llandinam site, just west of Llanbadarn Fynydd. Also the Llandinam site is due to be refurbished with larger turbines and its area extended eastwards.

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