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Residents vow to continue fight against massive wind farm plans

01 Jul 2024 6 minute read
Photo Y Bryn

Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter

Residents have vowed to continue their opposition to plans for a major wind farm development which would include some of the tallest turbines in the UK.

In the small, peaceful, community of Bryn, around 5 miles from the centre of Port Talbot you could hear a pin drop on most days, and apart from the birds chirping, the wind blowing, and the occasional passing car there is nothing but peace and quiet.

However, residents of the village now fear this peaceful beauty spot, known for being popular with walkers and bikers, could soon be disturbed in a major way, after proposals for the wind-farm nearby were submitted to the Welsh Government.

18 turbines

The proposals for Y Bryn wind-farm could see the area as the new home for up to as many as 18 turbines that would measure up as some of the UK’s tallest on-shore turbines, measuring between 206 to 230 metres, and up to 250 metres to tip.

It means they could eventually stand at a massive 820 feet tall if given the go-ahead, more than double the height of the tallest building in Wales, The Tower, Meridian Quay in Swansea – and almost as high as London’s The Shard.

Developer, Coriolis, has said Y Bryn could eventually generate the equivalent energy of 85,700 “average UK homes” once completed in the coming years, a number they add is approximately 68% of households in Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend council areas combined.

However, residents have said that with such strong public opposition towards this, they will continue to fight against the plans in order to save their current way of life.

Jill Hopkins

Jill Hopkins has lived in Bryn for more than 50 years and said she felt the plans could result in a major impact on quality of life for people who call the village home, if they were approved.

She said: “As a community we have multiple concerns over these plans and we want people to know how much of an impact they will have on the local environment, wildlife, and the standard of living for people here.

“If the plans do go ahead we are going to be surrounded by almost 20 of these enormous eyesores each the size of the Shard building in London and we don’t think it is fair for them to disturb such a beautiful place when there are other much more suitable areas.

“Personally, I think it could be devastating for local wildlife such as the birds and bats we have here, as well as the landscape with a potential loss of our peat bogs, forests, and walking and biking routes.

“With so much concrete being needed to install the turbines we also have fears around the impacts they could have on flooding in the area, and we’ve been writing to Welsh Government since the plans were submitted.”

Wyn Britten Jones

Wyn Britten Jones also lives in the area and added: “As far as we’re concerned, the negatives far outweigh the positives when it comes to this proposal and we want to raise as much awareness about it as we can.

“There’s no doubt that turbines of that size will be a major eyesore here. They will create noise and vibrations, and in my opinion will also result in a loss of natural habitats for wildlife as well as our local heritage.

“This is all after the massive amount of disruptions it would cause across the whole region during the construction process, and a lot of people in the village and places such as Maesteg and Caerau will all feel the impact of such a major project.”

Michelle Lloyd

Michelle Lloyd runs a local dog walking business in the village of Bryn and said said she also lived near to where one of the giant turbines could eventually be placed. She said: “As local residents we really don’t want this here as it will have severe impacts on our personal lives and working lives in the future.

“For me, I run a dog walking business as well as caring for horses, and the loss of the walking and riding routes if the construction was approved would be devastating towards that. It would also have a big knock to local tourism in the area, and as I live near to one of the planned turbines, I would also have to deal with this giant structure towering over my house every day.

“We’re lucky to have such natural beauty around us here and I just don’t think it’s right that we should have to give that away for them to build something that could be placed elsewhere. For us we just want people to know the scale of these plans, how big the turbines could eventually be, and that we are not giving up.”

Views from the village of Bryn

Another local resident, Rhodri Williams, added: “It’s bonkers that they would place wind turbines this high in such a lovely area and we’re totally against it. We have a Facebook group at the moment with over one thousand members supporting us and we have a number of plans and events organised to keep getting our message out there.”

On hold

The Local Democracy Reporting service understands that any decisions over the plans for Y Bryn wind farm are currently on hold after a request was given to developers for further information.

A spokesperson for Y Bryn wind farm said: “Following three phases of extensive local community and technical consultation from 2021 to 2023, Coriolis Energy and ESB submitted their application for Y Bryn Wind Farm to Welsh Government in April, 2024. The planning application is now with an Inspector from Planning Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW), who will examine the application before a final decision is made by Welsh Ministers.

“We are currently in the process of reviewing the request for further information and clarifications in response to statutory consultee comments and look forward to responding to these as part of the forthcoming process.

“During the consultation phases, over 80,000 individual pieces of information were distributed, and 20 information events were held. Up to 20% of the project will be available for local ownership (10% local individuals and community groups, and 10% for public bodies to invest in).

“If consented, Y Bryn will deliver a community benefit fund in the region of £1 million annually for the lifetime of the project. The expected carbon debt of the wind farm from manufacture, construction, impact on habitat and decommissioning will be paid back within 1.9 years.”

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Tomi Benn
Tomi Benn
13 days ago

I notice that the objectors seem not to be particularly young. We really MUST be more caring of future generations and generate green energy even if the landscape is impacted.

13 days ago
Reply to  Tomi Benn

Building them off the coast seems to be a preferable option, assuming that Cymru needs all that extra elrctricity.

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