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Opinion

A miscarriage of justice in our countryside

12 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Proposed development from Crynant: Stop Hirfynydd Energy Park

Stop Hirfynydd Energy Park

Did you watch the film about the sub-postmasters and postmistresses? This widespread miscarriage of justice could only take place for so long because the “little people” who protested were continually ignored.

Today we have a similar situation, where thousands of “little people” across the devolved nations are being ignored about their concerns about the industrialisation of the countryside.

“Failing”

Sadly, it is not the UK government but our own devolved governments in Wales and Scotland that are failing their rural communities. The developers are not to blame, as these two governments have opened the doors wide to any prospective investor from any country, regardless of where the profits will go.  

A Welsh Government spokesman stated: “There is no greater threat to the environment than climate change. Our policy and planning system supports well designed renewable projects that meet our policy requirements and are in the interests of people in Wales.

“It is based on robust evidence and extensive public consultation which has informed the identification of pre-assessed areas for onshore windfarms and associated policies, against which all applications for renewable energy developments must be assessed.” 

Let us take this statement and examine it, using Hirfynydd Energy Park as an example. 

We agree that climate change is a threat, but the needs of Wales for renewable energy can be met in a variety of ways without desecrating our countryside. This energy is being created for export, which is unfair on our rural and valleys’ communities. 

View from Crynant at present

The Hirfynydd mountain is not in the pre-assessed areas for wind farm development and is in the Lower Dulais Valley Special Landscape Area.

This vast upland farmland has fourteen sites of heritage importance, some listed. The Roman road, Sarn Helen, which travels from south to north Wales, runs alongside the proposed windfarm.

The land contains peat bogs and there is a wide variety of wildlife, including rare and protected species. The mountain is riddled with old mine workings, many unmapped.

Designated as “open access”, the area is popular with tourists for the amazing views, as well as being well used by locals for exercise, reflection and relaxation, so important to wellbeing.

Concerns

Reading this, you would be forgiven for thinking that the proposal could not possibly succeed. However, the local community has watched in horror as similar developments on similar beautiful mountains gain planning, regardless of similar concerns by local communities. 

Hirfynydd will be ruined. Excavated, drilled, concreted and polluted. Trees felled, peat moved, roadways created, and access denied. Wildlife and wellbeing lost.

Hirfynnyd is 481 metres tall. The proposed turbines are 200 metres, so they will tower 681 metres over our villages with light flicker, audible and inaudible noise, night lights ruining our dark sky. There may be subsidence due to extinct and current mineworking. They will be visible from Mumbles to Pen-Y-Fan!  

The solar farm will cover 130 acres of steep pastureland, with the risk of runoff and flash flooding. There will be an associated vast Battery Energy Storage System. These have a high incidence of combustion with emission of noxious fumes, requiring community evacuation plans.

This is planned for many mountains across south Wales. Will anyone want to live here or visit? Did you know about the “so called” extensive consultation? Do you live in a pre-assessed area? 

ITV- there is a film to be made here…

Find out more about Stop Hirfynydd Energy Park here.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
29 days ago

The Rape of the Fair Country…

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
29 days ago

Why isn’t your website bilingual?

Frank
Frank
29 days ago

Sod what the people want….. just hand out some brown envelopes. That should fix things. 😉

Last edited 29 days ago by Frank
Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
29 days ago

Great article, and so true

Wales can easily reach net zero using only offshore wind, so desecration of our countryside is unforgivable

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
28 days ago

Wind farms are ugly, noisy and only produce electricity when its windy. In addition they are highly polluting to build and need constant maintenance when the blades break (which is often I understand)
We need a referendum on whether to proceed with this abysmal plan.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
28 days ago

Mabion Glyndŵr will be returning to the hills and mountains of Cymru if the onshore wind farms are allowed!

Elaine Franks
Elaine Franks
28 days ago

Like so many other people in the Towy and Teifi valleys, my home and business are right in the path of the Towy Teifi pylon line and will be wrecked if the outdated and extraordinarily inappropriate pylon technology and industrial scale power generation is used to turn the landscape of Wales into an industrial wasteland as is proposed. For many decades, I have worked towards living very sustainably, and I make a point of considering the effect that choices and decisions I make will have on the future of the landscape and its biodiversity. My professional work is to celebrate… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Elaine Franks
hdavies15
hdavies15
27 days ago
Reply to  Elaine Franks

Senedd leadership are totally wedded to the distorted edition of the green gospels. Ransacking of rural landscapes is their default response to any question about meeting a demand for energy. That is one of the main reasons behind their aim of clearing large numbers of farmers out of business so they can set up more wind farms, solar farms and tree plantations. Sod the people and their communities.

Will Jones
Will Jones
25 days ago

Inaudible noise?

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