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WARNING! Wind farm action group step up campaign after landslide

An action group campaigning against a Glyncorrwg wind farm has questioned the safety of the proposal following a landslide near the site.

Glyncorrwg residents were left trapped last week after the slip blocked the only road into the village.

An estimated 50 tonnes of debris fell from the Blaencorrwg mountain and on to the road between Cymmer and Glyncorrwg.

Diversions were put in place while workmen used mechanical diggers to clear the carriageway.

Now Glyncorrwg Action Group (GAP) have raised concerns about the stability of the area.

Spanish-based company Gamesa want to build four 603ft wind turbines on nearby Ynyscorrwg.

GAP spokesman Robert Slater said: "We are very concerned about the possibility of a landslide should the Gamesa proposal get the go-ahead.

"The landslide happened just under a mile away from where they want to build the wind farm.

"Another landslide occurred there not so long ago. Remedial work has been undertaken but I doubt that's enough.

"Gamesa will have to build huge foundations and remove thousands of tonnes of earth."

In addition to the Gamesa proposal, Cardiff-based company Eco2 want to build four 410ft wind turbines on Corrwg Fechan.

Mr Slater forwarded a study to the Guardian on the instability of colliery spoil heaps in South Wales, which shows that four landslides occurred on Corrwg Fechan during the 1960s.

The first, in 1963, resulted in debris falling 310m down the mountainside. Further landslides occurred in 1964, 1965 and 1967.

Mr Slater also cites an incident in Derrybrien, Co Galway, Ireland as a warning to developers.

In 2003, thousands of tonnes of peat and debris rolled down the mountain close to a site where a large wind farm was being built.

Work resumed after extensive containment and stabilisation work was undertaken.

Mr Slater said: "The majority of the mountain is peat - similar to Derrybrien. If you start disturbing peat it could have a knock-on affect. We really don't know what will happen - it's asking for trouble."

After the Blaencorrwg landslide, which occurred at around 1pm last Thursday, emergency services, NPTCBC highway engineers and the Forestry Commission worked quickly to clear the road. No properties in or around the village were affected and no one was injured.

Glyncorrwg council's head of street care and countryside, Mike Roberts, said: "Temporary traffic lights were installed to make the road single-laned in case of further slippage, and the council monitored the area overnight. As no more debris slippage occurred, the road was fully re-opened on Saturday.

"Works to repair the damaged railings will take place in the near future."

Newspaper: Neath Port Talbot Guardian
Date: 02/08/07