POWYS LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (LDP) (2011-2026) – FURTHER FOCUSSED CHANGES
11th December 2016: POWYS LDP: APPEAL FOR DONATIONS TO SET UP LEGAL FUND
CPRW have been in contact with a barrister specialising in Welsh planning law to support our opposition to the late changes to Powys’ Local Development Plan and are now appealing for contributions to a Legal Fund to help pay for much needed ongoing legal advice. Powys’ proposed introduction of vast Local Search Areas for wind and solar development, coupled with huge targets based on flawed data, have the potential to change the county and the life of the county’s residents for ever. We feel legal advice is essential to support our fight against Powys’s proposals and ensure that these are defeated. Please see LINK for appeal document with payment details etc. Online donations may be made following this link ONLINE DONATION. Please support us in any way you can.
22nd November 2016: The consultation period for the Schedule of Further Focussed Changes to Powys’s Local Development Plan has now ended. Many residents of Powys are now well aware of the extraordinary inclusion within these Further Focussed Changes of the most far reaching proposals for land use change that have ever been proposed for our county. The Further Focussed Changes are wildly inconsistent in approach. On the one hand individual housing plots have been receiving, and rightly, methodical and painstaking scrutiny. On the other hand we can’t help but believe there has been a deliberate and underhand attempt to smuggle past an unsuspecting public the handover to developers of 40% of the county outside the Brecon Beacons National Park. And this on the basis of extremely poor quality and error strewn evidence, a curious interpretation of policy, and without public debate.
It has been heartening to find residents of Powys so passionate in their defence of our beautiful county, its outstanding landscapes and rich environment, thriving communities and, not least, its beleaguered wildlife. We have seen some of the eloquent and thoughtful responses to the consultation which we hope will make Powys pause for thought and abandon its reckless and destructive intentions. We are sure this council will not want to go down in history as having thoughtlessly wreaked huge and lasting damage on the county and its residents.
CPRW Brecon & Radnor and Montgomeryshire branches have produced a joint response which is set out below. This was hand delivered with receipt, and emailed for good measure. If we had had more time, and not suffered last minute computer malfunction – even our computers are exhausted – we would have ironed out the wrinkles, spellings and cross-references as we intended. But a deadline is a deadline and we hope and believe our submissions convey a strong message to our council.
UPDATE 1st December: We have summarised our arguments against policy RE1 here. We have also looked at the LDP examination process and set out what may happen next in summary here and a more detailed version here.
Our submission is made up of a number of documents:
Energy policy: FFC79 Response Form, Policy Critique and Rewording, General Considerations and Evidence, Are the Changes Focussed Changes?, Critique of the Evidence Figures, Community Engagement, Freedom of Information, and last but not at all least Environmental Impacts with supporting documents: Site maps, Hobhouse Designated Landscapes, SSSI Map 1, SSSI Map 2.
Inset maps: Response Form
And…for anyone who has missed the deadline but would nevertheless like to express their protest a Powys resident has set up a petition: you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-powys-county
We have retained this information below to provide easy access to the Council’s documentation and our politicians’ responses.
URGENT – PLEASE RESPOND BY THE DEADLINE: 5PM 21ST NOVEMBER, TOMORROW, ONLY A FEW HOURS LEFT TO PUT YOUR VIEWS TO POWYS
At the eleventh hour, at the final iteration of the Local Development Plan, when we have been told to expect only minor “focussed changes”, Powys have instead brought in radical new renewable energy proposals. Responding to Welsh Government pressure, they have identified many substantial ‘Local Search Areas’ for wind and solar energy across the county – see maps below. The new search areas would have massive impacts on landscapes, communities, and the natural environment throughout Powys. They would seriously damage the thriving mid-Wales tourist industry. These impacts have not been thought through or considered under the legally required environmental assessment procedures. They are at odds with recent Welsh environmental legislation and also with stated objectives of the LDP. Powys already has a greater area within ‘Strategic Search Areas’ for Wind Farms than any other Welsh county but these new areas will be in addition to the SSAs and will cover most of the remaining wild uplands in Powys. We certainly could not count on a cash-strapped planning department to refuse applications in these search areas on reasonable environmental grounds. Renewable energy generation in Powys already exceeds consumption.
See here for letters to Powys Council from Brecon and Radnorshire MP, Chris Davies: https://www.chrisdavies.org.uk/news/chris-davies-mp-open-letter-raising-concerns-over-windfarm-expansion and from Assembly Member, Kirsty Williams: Kirsty Williams Objection
LOCAL SEARCH AREA MAPS: Download pdf documents of the Local Search Areas (LSAs) alone: Wind LSA Maps & Solar LSA Maps. (Should you wish to view the complete LDP mapping documents, containing additional maps setting out the process of selection of these LSAs, please use the following links: Wind LSAs complete LDP document & Solar LSAs complete LDP document.)
DOWNLOAD THE POWYS RESPONSE FORM HERE: response form (It’s slow, be patient.) Completed objections should be emailed to email@example.com or sent to Powys LDP Team, Planning Policy, Powys County Council, The Gwalia, Llandindod Wells, LD1 6AA. (Please keep a copy of your response and request confirmation of receipt. If you forward responses to us we will be able to verify, when responses are published, that yours has been included.)
EASY-TO-USE GUIDES TO MAKE YOUR VIEWS COUNT: Our Quick&EasyGuide will help you complete the response form. (For more information see the further guidance notes which we have produced: Quick summary and Full briefing note Powys LDP 281016)
Powys LDP documents: The ‘Schedule of Further Focussed Changes’ (i.e. draft LDP), supporting documents and Representation Forms can be found by clicking on ‘2016-Schedule of Further Focussed Changes to the Deposit Draft LDP-(Open)‘ tab on http://www.powys.gov.uk/en/planning-building-control/local-development-plan/ldp-stages/.
Finding your way round Powys LDP documents: Use link above:
- Renewable energy policy RE1 is found on pages 99-103 of the ‘Schedule of Further Focussed Changes – Addendum to the Deposit LDP (October 2016)‘. Download schedule here: Download
- Maps setting out Local Search Areas can be found on the same web page (under Updated Topic Papers and Evidence) or our own pdf links above.
- The ‘Renewable Energy Assessment Aug 2016’ and ‘Renewable Energy Topic Paper Sep 2016’ set out evidence and thinking behind the policy.
- ‘SEA Environmental Report Oct 2016’ (pp549-560) and ‘HRA Report FFC 4.10.16′ (pp31-33) should but do not contain environmental assessments of the proposed policy.
- Monitoring proposals, intended to monitor impacts of LDP policy and achievement of objectives are found on pages 108 on of the ‘Schedule of Further Focussed Changes – Addendum to the Deposit LDP (October 2016)‘.
(The following document is referenced in the detailed briefing note ‘Wildness Study in Wales’.)