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The Welsh Assembly Government has rejected plans by RWE Npower Renewables to erect 19 wind turbines, with tracks and infrastructure, on Mynydd-y-Gwair, a prominent hill eight miles north of Swansea.
The decision follows a public inquiry last summer into RWE Npower’s appeal against Swansea Council’s refusal of planning permission. The inquiry also considered an application for works on common land, and a further application to exchange land from the heart of the common for agricultural land some distance away. The inspector, Stuart Wild, reported to the Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson.
The inspector recommended the rejection of the planning appeal and therefore the application for works on common land, as well as the application to exchange the common land. The minister agreed.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘This is a great victory for the common land of Wales. Commons are vital to Wales, for their natural beauty and landscape and as places to walk and ride. Mynydd y Gwair is a treasured spot—a gem in the south Wales landscape, where people can wander freely by right, on foot and horseback, enjoying the splendid views; and commoners can graze their stock undisturbed. The wind turbines would have trashed this lovely place.
‘Moreover, the plan to take land from the heart of the common would have upset the hefting (cynefin) of the sheep and broken the tradition of grazing the hill.
‘We are delighted that these monstrous plans have been rejected, and we congratulate Swansea Council, Save Our Common Mountain Environment (SOCME), and the many other organisations who opposed this.’