THE decision to approve 16 wind turbines at Mynydd y Gwair has been met with fury by opponents of the scheme.

Last week, Swansea City Council approved an application from German energy firm RWE to erect the 127- metre high turbines on the mountain – despite continued protests from residents.

Approval came as Irish energy firm ESB nears completion of its own 15-turbine windfarm on neighbouring Mynydd-y-Betws.

Supporters of the application praised the council’s backing of the scheme, claiming the move would prove a major boost to the local economy, but opponents labelled it “sacrilege”.

David Clubb, director of RenewableUK Cymru, said: “The approval of the Mynydd y Gwair wind farm is great news for local communities and businesses in Swansea, as well as for Wales’ progress towards its renewable energy future.

“We are pleased that Swansea City Council has had the foresight to recognise the opportunities that Mynydd y Gwair offers.

“The project will bring significant tangible benefits to Swansea by creating sustainable livelihoods and pumping millions of pounds into the local economy during the 25 years of its operation.”

However, the Lord Mayor of Swansea, Councillor Ioan Richard, slammed the decision, claiming it would provide a multi-million pound pay-out to landowner the Duke of Beaufort while residents struggled to pay their household bills.

“This will lead to more fuel poverty,” said Cllr Richard.

“The Duke of Beaufort is set to get £16 million pounds for this scheme, while the poor people of Swansea are paying a 12 per cent levy on their electric bills to finance wind energy subsidies.

“The Labour Party in Swansea are guilty of handing this vast cash bonanza to the aristocracy out of the pockets of the poor.”

The vote to approve the application was passed by 27 votes to 24, with two abstentions.