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Wind farm for Mynydd y Gwair in Swansea is approved tonight

By PaulTurner555  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

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A wind turbine on another site

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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 windfarm 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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17 comments

  • Neathboy234  |  February 09 2013, 10:40AM

    IanMacKinlay i'd be more worried about the plans to bury nuclear waste for up to one million years somewhere in the country. I say somewhere because they wanted to bury it in Cumbria until last week, needless to say the locals stuck two fingers up at that idea. Any takers!

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  • IanMacKinlay  |  February 09 2013, 8:33AM

    I seriously think the Health and Safety Executive needs to look closely at these wind turbines. It is fallacious to suppose that they only spoil the view of a beautiful location and that, if they do not bother users of the site by them having to look at them, then everything can go on as normal. Before long, a vast area, around every individual turbine, is going to have to be cordoned off, with very strong, probably high barbed wire fencing, and warning notices, telling of high penalties for offenders, against trespassing. Very probably, security cameras will need to be erected and you can image Police helicopters being deployed to chase, pursue and arrest anyone who goes anywhere near them. The justification for doing so will be similar in theory, but far more valid in practice, to that of trespassing on railway lines; because the trespassers lives will be threatened. The law may not worry to much about the lives of cattle and sheep grazing nearby, but you can expect that access to these areas by shepherds and farmers, very probably in some cases the landowners themselves, will only be permitted when the wind speeds will be below some very low levels for safety. Access to these hills will be necessarily severely curtailed in practice. In any case, even before such restrictions are brought in, as inevitably as they no doubt are going to be, would you yourself want to be out braving the weather, walking your dog perhaps, when the wind is blowing? Look at these folks. A wind turbine actually disintegrating before your eyes, as it was filmed in Denmark. http://tinyurl.com/387dnp http://tinyurl.com/3xt5t5

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  • redblimp  |  February 09 2013, 12:03AM

    I'm sure Ed Davey is a trustworthy chap, like many who went before him. Chris Huhne for one! And note to self: pay more attention when the Beeb tell us that the debate is at an end. Climate Change is real! One question though: would the climate stay constant if man became extinct?

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  • mountaineer  |  February 08 2013, 9:04PM

    Should we now be considering a boycott of N Power?

    Rate   7
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  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 6:04PM

    JennyKeal what you seem to fail to understand is that the debate of climate change is at an end. And if you don't believe me then look up Mr Ed Davey MP, you may be surprised to discover that he is in fact the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. I'm sure the words climate change will stick in your throat if you say it out loud.

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  • JennyKeal  |  February 08 2013, 5:38PM

    yes RedBlimp I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing to be gained from continuing the conversation with Neathboy234. I guess he is either in the pay of the wind industry as you say or convinced that we are all going to fry in a few years time. The fact that there has been no increase in global temperatures for the past 15 years seems to have passed him by. I am concerned that fossil fuel is a finite resource but there are other ways of producing electricity that are reliable, safe and clean, but I dare not say the N word otherwise another tirade will be forthcoming.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 4:54PM

    redblimp yes i'm sure you think we'll all come around to your way of thinking lol

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  • redblimp  |  February 08 2013, 4:51PM

    JennyKeal, You're wasting your breath with Neathboy234 - he won't be convinced, but will look back on this time in 20 years and realise what a fool he's been. Unless he's in the pay of the wind industry, and then he'll still be lol-ing. You would think by now he would have done his own research and discovered that conventional power stations running on 'spinning reserve' do not operate efficiently, and therefore would not save 50% CO2 when backing up unpredictable wind turbines. The reality is that the saving will be either very little, negligible, or negative. In any case, not worth the cost of the subsidies, or the environmental damage they are causing.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 10:32AM

    Price of oil this morning $117.65/barrel. Price of oil June 2012 $89/barrel. An increase of just under 33%. Peak oil production may have already been reached, new finds are often small and increasing expense to get out of the ground. Do we really want to be reliant on the middle east for our energy needs?.

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  • Neathboy234  |  February 08 2013, 10:26AM

    JennyKeal under EU plans most of our filthy coal power stations are to be closed in the next 10 years, wasn't you aware of that!!! Also i think your missing the point slightly, even if there was 100% back up by fossil fuel power stations which were in operation half of the time, it would still lead to a 50% reduction in CO2 release. At the end of the day wind turbines will be of great economic benefit to the UK. In 20 years time the price of fossil fuels will have gone through the roof, mark my words in in the mid 2030's you'll be grateful that Swansea councilors took the right decision yesterday

    Rate   -15
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