On the eve of the public inquiry into Hendy Wind Farm’s appeal against Powys County Council’s refusal of planning permission for seven wind-turbines near Llandegley Rocks, the Open Spaces Society has renewed its call for rejection of the plans.
The Open Spaces Society is backing the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales and many other organisations and individuals who oppose the scheme. The society, in written evidence to the inquiry, argues that the turbines would desecrate the beautiful countryside around Llandegley, five miles east of Llandrindod Wells, Powys.
The application, first submitted by Hendy Wind Farm Ltd in 2014, was refused by Powys County Council’s planning committee in April 2017. The developers appealed to the Planning Inspectorate. A public inquiry will open on Tuesday 13 March at The Pavilion, Spa Road, Llandrindod Wells. The public is invited to attend.
The Open Spaces Society objects to the turbines because they would destroy the natural beauty and people’s quiet enjoyment of the splendid landscape, marring the views of and from the prominent Llandegley Rocks. They would interfere with public paths and access land including registered common.
Moreover, the society has revealed that if the turbines are built they may be in breach of inclosure awards and therefore unlawful.
Says the Open Spaces Society’s general secretary, Kate Ashbrook: ‘The land on which it is proposed to construct at least four of the seven turbines and their associated development is part of an area inclosed in 1885 by inclosure awards for Llandegley Rhos and Hendy Bank. These awards grant the public a right of access here and protect the land from injury. Clearly, it would be contrary to the awards to build wind turbines on the awarded land.’
‘The access track to the turbines would be sited on common land.m The applicants would have to win consent from the Welsh ministers to deregister the common—and provide suitable land in exchange to which the public does not already enjoy access. We doubt there is any such land in the area that would be eligible. The applicants would also need consent for works on common land.
‘So there are a number of technical reasons why the turbines cannot be sited here, in addition to the fact that they will destroy a beautiful area.’
Kate continues: ‘From the slopes and summit of Llandegley Rocks the view is breathtaking, with a glorious sweep which takes in the hills and mountains of Wales, including the Brecon Beacons to the south. This view would be utterly destroyed by the siting of wind turbines here, and a massive area of great natural beauty and cultural significance would be irreparably damaged.
‘One can wander freely over Llandegley Rocks, and there are also several public paths. People walk and ride here because of the magnificent landscape and fine views. The wind turbines would deter them from doing so and would result in loss of the tourist income which is a pillar of the local economy.
‘We have urged the inspector to reject the appeal and ensure this beautiful, much-loved landscape can remain unspoilt.’
For more information please visit: www.oss.org.uk