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Locals fear wind farms may cause landslides

Residents in an Afan Valley village fear they could be buried alive if giant wind turbines are built on hillsides above their homes.

They claim plans to site two wind farms above Glyncorrwg would increase the risk of landslides.

Their calls come less than three weeks after aound 50 tonnes of debris crashed onto the only road in and out of the village off the Blaencorrwg mountain.

"We are extremely worried in Glyncorrwg," said Bob Slater, of the Glyncorrwg Action Group.

"The wind turbines are too close to people's houses and should be at least 2km away like they are in Scotland."

The recent landslide, caused by heavy rain, happened not far from where Spanish-based company Gamesa has applied to build four 603ft high turbines. The company is njow reviewing its options.

The area earmarked for turbines is high above houses and a primary school. There is a second planning application, from Cardiff-based company Eco2, for four 410ft turbines on Corrwg Fechan, near to the village, where four landslides occurred in the 1960s.

"It would be like the Aberfan disaster all over again," said Susan Loveday, aged 48, of Cymmer Road.

"The mountain is unstable and it's unstable to put wind turbines up there. Imagine all that slurry coming down without warning.

"Glyncorrwg Primary School is only a few metres away. We wouldn't stand a chance. We are terrified." Stephanie Rayner, aged 21, of Cymmer Road, said: "We are all nervous. I've only just bought and done up a house with my partner. We have a young son and fear for our safety."

Dai Leonard, aged 78, has lived in the village all his life.

"Heavy vehicles with heavy loads will have to go up the mountain to put the turbines up," he said.

"We've already had a landslide. I don't think the mountainside will be able to take that weight."

A spokesman for Eco2 said it had carried out all the necessary work to ensure the site would be safe.

A spokesman for Gamesa said the company was carrying out in-depth surveys of the area, and accused villagers of scaremongering.

He said: "We would not propose a wind farm on a site that would endanger the lives of local residents. For objectors to use Aberfan in their campaign against wind farms in the Upper Afan Valley is extremely distasteful - a view I'm sure would be shared with the families of the victims of the 1966 disaster."

Newspaper: South Wales Evening Post
Date: 16/08/07