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Mynydd y Gwair wind farm approved by Swansea Council committee

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

By Liz Perkins

Comments (11)

A WIND farm for Mynydd y Gwair has been approved

RWE's plan for 16 127 metre high turbines on land nine miles north of the city was given the go-ahead by 27 votes to 24 with two abstentions last night following a vociferous debate in the Civic Centre.

More than 60 campaigners packed the public gallery for the debate by a Swansea Council committee which heard views both for and against the controversial scheme.

One of those who spoke was Glyn Morgan, chairman of Save Our Common Mountain Environment, who claimed 87 per cent of people in the local community were opposed to the scheme.

"It would be sacrilege to develop on Mynydd y Gwair," he said.

He stated that red kites had successfully moved into the area and there were two breeding nests, and that the land had grazing rights with 120 commoners with flocks of sheep and also cattle.

The land was also popular with walkers, horse riders and people flying model aircraft, he added.

He urged the council to "make the people proud to be citizens of Swansea and oppose the development".

Joining him in opposition was Gower councillor Richard Lewis who said, to much applause from the public gallery: "I think it's atrocious and we should scrap them all (turbines)."

He said any money they brought to Wales was through subsidies from the Government, whereas tourism in the Gower brought in £120 million directly.

Councillor Mary Jones stressed that in Gower people were not allowed to build on open land.

"Here we are putting these monstrosities on top of a mountain with a sub station there as well," she said.

"It's going to have an overbearing impact.

"I can't support this application — I am thinking of our younger generation.

"We have to think of the visual impact."

Penllergaer councillor Wendy Fitzgerald said: "It's a con and scam and we are all being well and truly duped."

But Llansamlet councillor Uta Clay said: "The objections come largely from the privileged few.

"They may be in favour of renewable energy as long as it's not in my back yard.

"It's the younger generation who will have to live with the consequences of the mess that my generation has left."

But council leader David Phillips said: "It's not an argument between rich and poor."

And he talked about objections to nuclear power and its afterlife.

"Are we seriously proposing to turn off the lights? Wind power is not the solution but is part of it."

Gwenllian Elias - project manager for RWE, said: "This revised application would make sound planning sense.

"The wind farm has been reduced to 16 wind turbines."

She said organisations such as the Environment Agency had not objected to the scheme which she said would create 100 jobs.

Andrew Hore, chief operations officer for the Ospreys rugby region, also spoke in favour of the development.

He said it would have been very easy to have a fast food chain on their shirts, but they felt RWE was the right message for the community.

"We feel the young people need role models and need employment. It's no use walking around the hills if there is acid rain falling down on you."

The company's previous application for 19 turbines was eventually turned down after going to appeal.

RWE removed three turbines from its plans following concerns about the peat bog and relocated two others.

It said the new scheme had the potential to produce enough electricity to cover the yearly average consumption of around 24,700 homes.

It previously said, according to the study it carried out, the building of the wind farm could also bring in up to £8.5 million to South and West Wales, on top of an annual fund of up to £240,000 to be spent on the community.

Much of the land is owned by the Somerset Trust, and lies within one of seven areas in Wales earmarked as suitable for a concentration of onshore wind farms.

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11 comments

  • carpmeister  |  February 08 2013, 5:38PM

    A few years ago a government report said 440,000 turbines would only supply 20% of the UK's needs and that was assuming weather conditions were ok. These turbines do not work when the wind is to high and are very inefficient. To supply the country with it's requirements, upwards of 2.2million turbines would be required and totally destroying the countryside. The countryside is being systematically destroyed by a bunch of morons with a God complex, as jwelshman said, at the next election, vote these money grabbing scum out of office.

    |   14
  • RichardCorso  |  February 08 2013, 5:16PM

    jwelshmanFriday, February 08 2013, 9:32AM "Why are we in Wales allowing our countryside to be ruined? In England there are very few sites being used and certainly none of those of outstanding beauty........unfortunately for Wales and Scotland, it's these areas that are the windiest areas of the UK see the following Met Office wind info http://tinyurl.com/bb58ovh The areas in England which are suitable for wind turbines are the South West (Cornwall etc) and the North East. Wind Turbines are a political toy Any serious professional engineer will tell you that Wind Turbines are one of the most inefficient method of generating a continuous supply of electricity. What's worst with Wind Turbines is the blade shadow flicker and the subaudible resonance of the turbine mast on the huge concrete slab. There's been enough Wind Turbines installed around the world that have confirmed the worst fears of noise, flicker, resonance and lower generating output than initially quoted by the operators. Most Wind farm systems never make enough money from the electricity generated by the turbines to pay for it's installation and only make a financial return to it's operators based on the tax payers subsidies given by Government. Here in Wales we are mugs for allowing Local Authorities and Wind Farm operators to get away by approving these installations.

    |   11
  • siarad2  |  February 08 2013, 12:52PM

    Some official facts: The rip-off is quoting power, MW, pretty meaningless instead of energy, MWh. My car has a power of 80kW but thankfully isn't consuming fuel sat in my drive, likewise turbines don't produce energy equal to their power for MOST of the time. Those turbines, 4,366, only produced last year 19,914,295 MWh of energy from an installed power of 8292MW i.e only 27% of power. No conventional power stations have been hurt in the making of this :-) What is the point of wind power's vast subsidies if we have to keep all the existing power stations as backup. This 'spinning reserve' negates 7% of wind energy generated, cutting that 27% to nearer 25%, equivalent to generating just 6 hours a day a 42 hour working week! within the EU working time directive LOL

    |   13
  • siarad2  |  February 08 2013, 12:47PM

    Despite building these monuments to the false god CO2, it continues to grow in power. What next human sacrifice!

    |   7
  • ArthurRittick  |  February 08 2013, 10:55AM

    weslangdon has got it right when he calls for land reform & placing ownership back in the hands of the people & for the common good. What needs to be examined is how the ownership of the land was established. Unfortunately no-one in power, whatever their political persuasion, will contemplate even discussing the removal of those in-bred parasites known as the monarchy or their degenerate hangers-on, the so-called aristocracy. If we have to have wind-farms - a much better alternative than nuclear power - then let local people benefit, not the avaricious "absent landowners"!

    |   5
  • Julesbreadbox  |  February 08 2013, 10:43AM

    Now that Bob Dylan is going to do a concert here in Swansea, how about a bit of his songs? How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man? How many mistakes must a man make, befor he will realize he was wrong? I feel sorry for the people near these turbines.

    |   19
  • NeathPTboy  |  February 08 2013, 10:34AM

    Looks like the Ospreys will be looking for new sponsorship soon, as RWE will pull the deal on them once the work has started......it'll be the old fashioned 2 finger salute followed by thanks but no thanks, we only used you in an attempt to win over the Ospreys rugby fans.......interestingly there were even a few season ticket holders on the planning committee who all voted in favour......hope they won't be too disappointed when RWE leave the Ospreys.

    |   13
  • JohnSW4  |  February 08 2013, 10:33AM

    by weslangdon Spot on! And you have Etonian Boot lickers like David Attenborough that will say and do what ever their establishment want Joe public to here! Wind farms are useless they have scared the most underestimated beautiful country side of gods own country Wales! We will receive bread crumbs while subsidizing those useless monstrosity's and the real money goes mainly out of this country to foreigners and the Duck of Beaufort should whistle for his share! And you can bet Attenborough wont be living anywhere near them where he could see them through a pair of binoculars!

    |   17
  • jwelshman  |  February 08 2013, 9:32AM

    Why are we in Wales allowing our countryside to be ruined? In England there are very few sites being used and certainly none of those of outstanding beauty. The profits of such destruction will certainly not end up in our pockets but will go to London and spent on pointless projects like the HSR all outside of Wales. I suggest alist of all those who voted in favour be published so that the electorate can kick them out at the soonest possible date.

    |   21
  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 9:27AM

    Here is something that Sir David Attenborough has to say on the subject of wind turbines The television presenter described wind turbines as "elegant structures in harmony with nature". "Wind power can never provide for all our wants but every bit of power generated by wind must be welcomed," he said. "Even if we only generate a fraction of what our country needs in this way, then we must." Sir David said the "rhythmic noise of wind" is trivial compared to mechanical sounds like aircraft noise and the health problems caused by pollution for fossil-fuelled power stations. "To suggest the rhythmic puff of wind is comparable to the death of thousands of people through lung disease is laughable," he added.

    |   -9

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