Strife of Brian
Villagers outraged by plans to build four wind turbines that would tower more than 100 feet taller than Big Ben are stepping up their opposition.
The plan by Cardiff-based Eco2 is strongly opposed by Glyncorrwg Action Group, who have called on Dr Brian Gibbons AM, who lives in neighbouring Blaengwynfi, to hold a meeting with the company to discuss the controversial proposals.
One Glyncorrwg resident, Mark Souter, whose house is situated closest to the proposed wind farm, has already taken legal advice should it get the go-ahead.
“We weren’t given any notice that Eco2 plan on building the wind farm around 400 metres from our home,” said Mr Souter – a claim denied by Eco2.
“We’ve already taken legal advice. We don’t want these War of the World style structures metres from our home.
“We’re not against wind farms in general, we’re against having them so close to people’s houses.
“One of the main reasons people come to the Afan Valley is for tourism, not to look at wind turbines.”
Mr Souter has been in talks with the council’s planning department about opening a llama centre for disadvantaged children, but fears his plans could be scuppered if the controversial proposal gets the green light.
“If the application gets the green light then there’s no way we can open the centre,” said Mr Souter.
Glyncorrwg Action Group’s spokesman, Robert Slater said the first residents knew about the application was when they saw planning notices pinned to lampposts in the village.
He said: “We are shocked that a firm would consider building these turbines so close to the village. They are huge structures – taller than the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben, and equivalent to a 40-storey office block.”
Dr Gibbon AM has consistently opposed proposals from Eco2 Gamesa to erect wind turbines in the Afan Valley, and earlier in the month called on wind farm developers Eco2 and Gamesa to organise a referendum on wind farms in the Upper Afan Valley
Commenting on the latest application, he said: “My opposition to the wind farm proposals from Gamesa and Eco2 are well documented. Both would cause a significant intrusive visual impact to the communities of the Upper Afan Valley. I have over the past few months met with both companies to express my opposition. I am fully supportive of the activities of Glyncorrwg Action Group, and have consistently said that the current proposals are far too close to our community.”
The action group is angry at the lack of consultation between Eco2 and Glyncorrwg residents.
Spokesman Bob Slater said: “The issues we want to discuss include how the consultation was conducted.
“We sent an email to Eco 2 on May 11 about the possibility of holding a meeting on the planning application – an hour later we found out about the planning notices. This is totally unacceptable.”
“Many people are still in the dark about Eco2’s proposals as they have not had the courtesy to write to each house about their plans.
The group would also like the Welsh Assembly to investigate the effect wind farms have on people’s health.
Recent medical studies claim that low-frequency noise emitted by wind farms can affect people.
Neath Port Talbot Guardian