WIND power is coming to the Rhondda, after a controversial eight-turbine planning application was passed by a nail-biting one-vote majority. Objectors are crying foul after the meeting was scheduled at the height of holiday season and one third of committee members were absent - and are threatening to seek a judicial review.
Agenda items included the Renewable Energy Partnership’s proposal to build eight 80-metre masts, each with three 45-metre rotor blades, on the 200-hectare plateau between Treorchy and Maerdy - a proposal that was rejected by councillors at a previous meeting in July, with only four members voting in favour.
But on Tuesday, August 19, 25 members voted for the application and 25 against - leaving the committee chairman with the deciding vote which he cast in support.
Maerdy councillor Gerwyn Evans [Plaid Cymru] voted against the wind farm, and described his colleagues’ majority decision as “devastating news for the Rhondda”.It’s a Rhondda planning matter,” Coun Evans said, “but it feels like it went through with the help of Taff Ely members.”
Linda Clarke, a Treorchy resident and member of Rhondda Against Wind Turbines, attended the meeting and said she was “shocked” at how quickly the vote was taken. “The process was so slick and speedy - a more cynical person might conclude that the whole thing was planned and expertly stage-managed.”