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Month: March 2017

Powys LDP – Update #3 – 28 March 2017

Powys LDP – Update #3 – 28 March 2017

1. Powys LDP Hearings: New information and a few reminders about the LDP Hearings:

RENEWABLE ENERGY HEARINGS: Please note that the renewable energy hearing sessions, originally to have been the 9th and 10th May, have now been postponed to 27th and 28th June. Powys will now publish revised evidence and their proposed revised Renewable Energy (RE) policy on the 12th May. Hearing statements must be submitted to the Inspector by 5th June. Anyone who objected to the Further Focussed Changes is entitled to submit a statement for the hearings and we would urge you to do so. This is our opportunity to object to and point out the soundness issues in Powys’ revised evidence and policy proposals. Written statements are limited to 3,000 words, but can be accompanied by visual evidence. Statements and accompanying evidence must be provided in both electronic and paper format. Details are set out in the Inspector’s Guidance Notes.

CPRW Brecon & Radnor have recently uploaded new information to our website, including maps, which we hope may be helpful to objectors.

Instead of revising the Renewable Energy Assessment (REA) and RE Policy in response to the overwhelming criticism from the public and then submitting this to the statutory 6 week public consultation,  PCC decided to submit a major revision of their REA during the Hearings Program. This means that we, and all other participants in Hearing Session 15 on Renewable Energy, will only have 3 weeks to prepare our evidence statements for the Hearing Session instead of the 6 weeks consultation period.

Even if you did not object to Further Focussed Changes, you could still argue that you have a democratic right to submit a statement and participate in Hearing Session 15 because this will be yet another major change in the LDP. This democratic right is supported by the Welsh Government’s flagship legislation, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.

Powys’s major revisions during the LDP Examination also mean that all issues of soundness other than those arising directly from RE policy are considered before we even see the RE policy itself so that there can be no proper consideration of the consistency between policies.

HEARING SESSIONS STARTING 28TH MARCH: Please do let Tracey Smith, LDP programme officer, know you if will be attending so she can ensure there is adequate space for all. Email:

TIMETABLE ETC.: The timetable, agendas for individual hearings and hearing statements from participants can be found here. CPRW national and/or Powys branches have so far submitted statements for hearings 1, 2, 5, 6 & 7.

2. “What Do You Think Is The Most Important Issue Facing Wales In The Future?” The Office of the Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, has launched an online survey asking this question. The survey is likely to close on 7th April and you should respond before this date. The Commissioner has already shown a refreshingly robust and independent attitude in her opposition to the Government’s proposals for the M4 relief road. This is our opportunity to put our views to the Commissioner, and alert her, for example, to the general neglect of rural views and issues in Welsh Government.  The Commissioner’s office has also launched a new website and a broad conversation/consultation on their Draft Strategic Plan and policy priorities.

3. Further Focussed Changes Representations: Powys had decided to drastically cull our responses to the FFCs and simply list the missing parts as “supporting evidence” without showing the text.  After a long period of prevarication, the full versions of the Powys Branches’ responses and another objector’s response, which had been similarly culled, have finally been published under the headings ED034 and ED035 on the Examination website.

4. Brecon & Radnor Action Group: Please do contact Jenny Keal ( about this action group. The group now has a new facebook page in the name ‘BRAG Brecon and Radnor Action Group’.

CPRW Brecon & Radnor Committee



1. POWYS LDP Examination; Hearing statements and Hearing Sessions
The Hearing Sessions for the Planning Inspector’s Examination of the Powys LDP begin on 28 March.

CPRW’s National and Powys Branches’ Statements set out why Powys’s proposed RE policy fails the Examination “soundness” tests. Our Barrister will represent us at the Hearings on 28th and 29th March. We hope to have the Inspector’s confirmation of how issues of “soundness” of procedure in production of the LDP can be dealt with satisfactorily when the “revision” of the Renewable Energy Assessment and the consequent RE Policy changes are not yet available.

The Powys Branches also argue that the impacts of the rapid expansion of industrial livestock units must be included and properly considered in the Local Development Plan.

The Inspector’s timetable for hearing sessions, and our submissions for the first 2 hearings, can be viewed here. CPRW Powys branches have now also put in submissions for Sessions 5, 6 and 7, which should soon be uploaded.

Hearing Sessions will be held at:
The Media Resource Centre (MRC Wales Ltd.),
Oxford Road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 6AH
(Map here.)

Please do come along to let the Inspector see the public concern about the sacrifice of our countryside. The Programme Officer has asked that people advise her if they plan to attend hearing sessions. She can be contacted on:

2. CPRW Landscape Evidence and Mapping
The CPRW documents for Hearing Session 1 include mapping exploring the potential impacts of the Local Search Areas on:

  • Turbine views in Powys and neighboring Counties
  • Outstanding and High LANDMAP evaluations of Welsh Landscape
  • National Trails

The map below (taken from CPRW evidence for Hearing Session 1) shows red areas indicating the ‘zone of theoretical visibility’ of just one single 120m turbine – 80m hub height plus 40m blade radius – in the centre of each of the wind Local Search Areas (LSAs). It also demonstrates the likely impact on neighbouring counties both in England and Wales, that on the Snowdonia National Park and our on National Trails, Offas Dyke and Glyndwr’s Way:

Powys LDP Wind SAs - ZTVs - National Trails V1.0 20170218(A3)

A larger version of the map may be viewed here. (6.8MB pdf)

This model hugely underestimates the likely visual impact. Remember that the RE target was for 600MW of renewable electricity for Powys. LSAs were to be developed as fully as possible with the building out of the largest projects first, including 25MW wind farms (twelve turbines).

Only a few months ago, consultants AECOM helped devise the LSAs and the LDP Working Group enshrined these in Planning Policy proposals. AECOM and the Welsh Government presented this policy to a closed seminar for Powys County Councillors. The Powys Cabinet was also perfectly happy to sacrifice the Powys landscape when they voted to approve the LDP Further Focussed Changes. What has made them change their minds?

Now Powys is assuring us that AECOM is helping to revise the LSAs to take landscape into account. Their Regeneration and Planning Portfolio Holder told the Press that “we must get it right for the future” but they have already demonstrated that they do not care about the Powys countryside. We conclude that real reason for the “revision” is that the public responses have proved that the policy would fail the examination for “soundness”.

We expect the forthcoming “revision” to reflect the fear of public failure rather than any sincere regard for Powys’ unique natural assets.

We urge residents and other concerned individuals and bodies to keep this issue alive.

3. Powys County Council Frequently Asked Questions: Powys LDP Powys County Council’s Renewable Energy Assessment and Local Search Areas for Wind and Solar Energy
Please see this pdf (1.2MB) for CPRW Brecon & Radnor responses to Powys’s FAQ.

4. Mass departure of Powys Cabinet:

2nd March Wynne Jones steps down:

7th March Barry Thomas also steps down:

9th March Graham Jones and John Brunt also decide not to stand again: