1. COULD YOU BE COUNTY COUNCILLOR FOR YSCIR?
No candidate has come forward to replace Gillian Thomas as County Councillor for Yscir ward. This means the nomination period is extended and anyone wishing to stand should contact Sian Lewis-Davies, Senior Elections Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to obtain nomination papers. Unless there is a sudden rush of nominations, it’s likely anyone coming forward now will be elected unopposed.
This is a great opportunity to help make some changes in the way Powys County Council does things.
2. LDP HEARINGS SESSION 11 – “SAFEGUARDING STRATEGIC ASSETS & RESOURCES” 27TH APRIL
This important hearing will deal with protection of our landscapes and biodiversity. The full agenda, together with CPRW’s and other participants’ hearing statements, can be found on Session 11: SAFEGUARDING. Both CPRW local branches and Head Office have put in very full statements setting what we see as key issues concerning the LDP’s proposed policies for protection of our environment – see link above. We hope you will find these informative. The hearing will take place at 9.30 on Thursday the 27th at the Media Resource Centre, Oxford Road, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 6AH and our barrister will be there; please contact the Programme Officer, Tracey Smith email@example.com if you wish to attend. There’s no doubt that the presence of a public audience conveys an important message to the Inspector, and Welsh Government and Powys representatives.
3. POWYS PRESS RELEASE ON PROPOSED REVISED RENEWABLE ENERGY POLICY
It seems that Powys County Council is working on a ‘U turn’ with its proposals for the Renewable Energy parts of the LDP. The Council’s latest press release is set out below together with our response that we have sent direct to Councillors (we have also issued a press release along the same lines). The Council’s press release is of course a blatant attempt to spin the story and we hope that if Councillors read our comments they may have a better understanding of the true facts. Please do lobby your local County Council candidates if and when opportunities present themselves. This LDP shambles must never happen again.
Dear County Councillor,
CPRW refers to the press release issued by Powys County Council yesterday (10th April) titled ‘LDP Update’.
The following is the response from the Montgomery and Brecon & Radnor branches of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales
CPRW welcomes the news from Powys County Council that it is preparing a ‘U-turn’ on its renewable energy proposals. However our response is also tinged with considerable caution because if it had not been for CPRW’s vigilance, the original proposals of the Council would have escaped public scrutiny and their multiple failings continued to remain hidden. We therefore will wait for the full publication when we can examine the revisions in detail and come to an informed response. Powys County Council Cabinet seemingly has no recognition of their neglect of public responsibility in proposing major policy without any regard to local circumstances. We hope County Councillors will recognise the scale of damage that officers and the Cabinet would have done to Powys, and very nearly did, had it not been for CPRW. Nor do they demonstrate any understanding of the huge commitment of time and financial cost their actions have caused to many people and organisations.
CPRW is most grateful to the hundreds of its supporters across Powys who have given support, both by objecting to the LDP and by donating to its fighting fund. In the meantime, we will continue to highlight to the LDP Examination the Council’s proposals in the Plan that still fail to give proper recognition to rural Powys, its communities, biodiversity and its fabulous landscapes.
There are two lessons (among others) that need to be taken on board by Councillors. The first is to ensure that the new Council looks at how these ‘Further Focused Changes’ happened to ensure nothing similar could happen again. This should be done by proper and forensic scrutiny. The second is to accept that effective public consultation in the end results in better policies .
From the Chairs of Brecon & Radnor Branch and Montgomery CPRW Branches
Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales
Registered charity number 239899
And Powys Council’s Press Release:
MR 51 April 10, 2017
Results of a revised Renewable Energy Assessment needed as part of the Powys Local Development Plan will be published next month, a seminar of Powys County Councillors has been told.
Extra work on the Local Development Plan was called for by the council’s cabinet in January for submission to the Planning Inspectorate as part of the Examination process. This decision was taken following the consideration of the comments received on the LDP’s Further Focussed Changes.
The additional work has been reviewing a range of issues that would impact on the renewable energy assessment, in particular the elements that relate to renewable wind and solar energy production. The work has included the following considerations:
• The Royal Air Force’s (RAF) low-flying tactical training area over a large part of western Powys.
• A buffer around the Sennybridge training area.
• Appropriate buffers for special protection areas to protect bird species, requested by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
• A visual impact buffer placed around existing and proposed windfarms to take account of cumulative impact.
• A buffer to all designated landscapes which include two national parks and two areas of outstanding natural beauty.
• Consideration of grid connection and landscape impact.
Powys County Council, Strategic Director Place, Paul Griffiths said: “The LDP is the most important planning document we have and it is essential that we have a robust plan in place. It is a policy for the future and it is vital that it is fit for purpose.
“Although the work is still in progress, initial findings show that applying the constraints has resulted in a significant decrease in the number and extent of proposed local search areas in the county that are available for both wind and solar energy development. The council will publish the results of this additional evidence on its LDP webpages on May 12th 2017”.
“The finalised results will be submitted to the Inspector as part of the LDP planning examination in advance of the deadline for hearing statements. It is likely that the council will be recommending changes to the LDP’s renewable energy policies to the Inspector so that these can be discussed at the hearing session. If the Inspector considers changes to the LDP are necessary, these will be subject to further public consultation so that the Inspector can decide whether the changes are acceptable,” he added.
Key LDP dates:
12th May 2017 – publication of the revised Renewable Energy Assessment and its accompanying landscape assessment.
5th June 2017 – Deadline for Hearing Statements for LDP Hearing Sessions 15 & 16 on Renewable Energy.
28th and 29th June – Hearing Sessions 15 and 16 on Renewable Energy.
Further information about the LDP and the Examination process including hearings can be found on the Council’s LDP webpages at: