Campaigners' bitter disappointment over Mynydd y Gwair approval
CAMPAIGNERS have spoken of their bitter disappointment at losing their 10-year fight against siting a wind farm on a Swansea mountain.
Glyn Morgan, chairman of Save Our Common Mountain Environment, said the group wished Swansea Council had taken its views more into account when making a decision over the Mynydd y Gwair plan.
But Mr Morgan, who gave a 15-minute presentation at the Swansea Council planning meeting in the Civic Centre over the scheme, did say he believed the debate was "fair."
He said: "We are very disappointed as we fought the scheme for the past 10 years.
"We are disappointed in Swansea Council for totally ignoring the people and the farmers who depend on Mynydd y Gwair.
"I thought it was a fair debate in the chamber but we thought the emphasis was more on the cost than the landscape."
He said he believed opportunities might arise in the future to challenge the scheme as planning permission was sought for various stages of development.
"At the moment we have to regroup and we will have to decide what we intend doing," he said.
"The developer will have to apply for planning on common land.
"The common land issue is one they need to address and they have not been addressed.
"There's another tranch of planning which they will need to go through as well.
"I do not know what the outcome will be."
He said the feeling among the commoners was that they were unhappy with the decision.
Mr Morgan revealed during the meeting that the land had grazing rights with 120 commoners with flocks of sheep and cattle.
He said: "The turbines will be twice the size of the DVLA and 20 metres higher than the Meridian Tower in Swansea."
Farmer Frank Jones, of Cwmcerdinen, who was inspired to return to Wales by his grandparents, who were farmers, said Mynydd y Gwair was the "last unspoilt wilderness in the area."
He said the feeling among the commoners was that they were unhappy at the way in which Swansea Council had been directed to approve the scheme by planners.
Members were advised by not approving the scheme that they "run the risk of acting unreasonably".
Mr Jones said the strength of feeling against the scheme was widespread from Morriston to Pontarddulais.
And he said they were also unhappy about comments made by Llansamlet Councillor Uta Clay, who suggested that the only people represented in the public gallery were older and that only the privileged could afford to live in the area.
Mr Jones said: "People have contributed a lot of money to fight this development — and people in ordinary houses have contributed.
"For farmers this has been their livelihood."
He added: "Forty-four years ago I looked at this farm and the hills in the distance and saw the pristine hills and thought that nothing could happen here.
"I could never imagine that someone could obliterate this with wind turbines.
"There was no mention of the people during the planning meeting, they just showed aerial views of the land.
"Our commoners' rights have been there for hundreds and hundreds of years — no one can disturb the common."