South West Wales

Mynydd Y Gwair wind farm: Welsh Government approves plans

Mynydd y Gwair

Plans to build a wind farm at a beauty spot in Swansea have been approved by the Welsh Government.

The Mynydd Y Gwair development, with its 16 turbines, will be built on common land near Felindre.

The decision follows a recommendation from an independent planning inspector who led a public inquiry into RWE Innogy UK's application earlier this year.

The company said the project will bring environmental and economic benefits.

Local people, including some farmers, have been fighting the plans for years, claiming the turbines would spoil the area's natural beauty.

There had already been two previous inquiries into the proposals.

'Last hurdle'

Swansea council originally granted planning permission for the wind farm in 2013.

But the company needed to deregister the common land and provide alternative space.

That was refused last year by deputy minister Rebecca Evans after considering a planning inspector's report.

The company claimed the 48 MW project will provide energy for nearly 25,000 homes and could create up to 104 jobs during each year of its construction.

Image copyright RNE Npower
Image caption An artist's impression of the Mynydd y Gwair site

Gwenllian Elias, development manager for the project, said: "This was the last hurdle required to help unlock a potential £52m investment.

"We are delighted with the decision and feel confident that this could have a positive impact on local suppliers and local companies.

"This project will not only bring environmental benefits but also economic benefits too, and we are keen to work with local suppliers where possible to maximise the local opportunities."

Construction of the wind farm could start in October 2016.

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