A land-grab plan by a colliery on a south Wales common where a wind farm is proposed is ‘adding insult to injury’, according to opponents.
The application, at Mynydd y Betws (Betws Mountain), near Ammanford, would see the Cwm Yr Onen colliery encroach on to common land. There are already plans to place 16 wind turbines on the site.
The Open Spaces Society (OSS) is calling on the authorities to throw out the proposal. Kate Ashbrook, the society’s general secretary, said: “‘Bryn Bach Coal has applied to extend the colliery on 8.4 hectares of common land. There are many graziers whose rights will be impaired by the development.
“The colliery’s environmental statement fails to mention that this is also access land, and that the public has the right to walk on every part of it.
“The mountain is an important area for public recreation, where people may walk unrestrained, enjoying the fine views and the feeling of freedom.”
The campaign group also rejects the assertion that the visual intrusion to walkers on the St Illtyd’s Walk would be minor and temporary. They say the public would be denied the enjoyment of the area until the site was restored, which would not happen for at least seven years.
Ms Ashbrook said: “The plan to extend the Cwm Yr Onen colliery on common land adds insult to injury, coming hot on the heels of an application for 16 wind turbines.
“We have therefore called for the application to be rejected.”
In July last year, Carmarthenshire County Council approved the building of the turbines, but the OSS argued that the development needed the Secretary of State’s approval, because it was on common land.