Hendy Wind Farm – Minister’s Decision

Hendy Wind Farm – Minister’s Decision

Dear Member,

Despite all our efforts, and your magnificent and generous support,

Welsh Government Cabinet Minister for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has approved Hendy Wind Farm at Llandegley Rhos.

In her decision released on 25/10/18, she has chosen to disagree with her appointed Planning Inspector, Hywel Wyn Jones, whose report following the March 2018 Public Inquiry was delivered on 11/5/18.

In his carefully argued 115 page report, Planning Inspector Hywel Jones set out the urgent need for renewable energy but concluded that the harm to landscape and historic assets on this particular site outweighed the benefits. He emphasised that he was assessing the proposal in the light of the Welsh Well-being of Future Generations Act and the recently adopted Powys Local Development Plan. From the Inspector’s report:

“…the extent of harm to the landscape and historic assets leads me to conclude that the scheme fails to strike an appropriate balance between promoting renewable energy projects and protecting these interests as sought by national policy. It follows that, when taken together, the combined harm to landscape and heritage matters significantly outweigh the identified benefits.”

 “As I have reached the conclusion that the harms caused by the development would clearly outweigh its benefits I consider that it fails to accord with the wide reaching aims and objectives of the WBFG [Well-Being of Future Generations] Act.”

No attempt had been made to justify the rejection of the Inspector’s findings beyond the need to serve the ‘national interest’.

This is a disgraceful decision and your committee will shortly inform you of our collective response.

We will fight on, including considering legal options.

I am very sorry to have to give you this dire and troubling news.

Jonathan Colchester

CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch Chairman

 

Documents: Inspector’s Report

Hendy Wind Farm Limited – Welsh Ministers decision letter

 

DOWN to EARTH DAY : A CPRW Public Symposium on the Well-being of Our Soil

DOWN to EARTH DAY : A CPRW Public Symposium on the Well-being of Our Soil

The Soil Beneath our Feet

Yes, the answer does lie in the soil and if you’ve ever wondered what those answers are the Brecon & Radnor Branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales are hosting an inspiring day of talks and discussions on Saturday 3rd November at The Town Hall in Talgarth near Brecon from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

A panel of expert scientists, farmers and conservationists will explore this important and complex subject chaired by Dr. John Scullion from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberyswyth University. His fellow speakers will be
Dr. William Stiles also from Aberystwyth University and Farming Connect;
Dr. Alan Feest – expert on biodiversity and fungi from Bristol University;
Ian Rappel – Chief Executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust;
James Cooke – Welsh Government Agricultural Land Use Policy Manager;
Rory Francis – Campaigns Manager for the Woodland Trust Cymru;
Richard Tudor and Geraint Powell, both Nuffield Farm Scholars and well-known practising farmers.

Fundamental to life on Earth, our soil is a non-renewable resource, and home to a quarter of all living species on Earth. But life within the soil is so often ‘out of sight, out of mind’. What organisms make up our soil and how important are they to life above ground? How are our activities affecting soil ecology and biodiversity? Charles Darwin spent over forty years studying the earthworm and its effect on our soils, yet today only about twenty five percent of worm species, six percent of fungi and less than two percent of soil bacteria have been studied and categorized.

‘Down to Earth’ Soil Symposium Day offers a fascinating and unique opportunity to share questions and answers in the company of a pre-eminent panel of speakers, and to discover more about our soils and how we can look after them, as we face the future challenges of the 21st century.

Refreshments are included.

To book please email: iainaitken@lineone.net or Tel: 01497 821668
CPRW Members £10 / Non-members £12 / Free to under 26

Directions:
For your satnavs the postcode for Talgarth Town Hall is LD3 0BW. Location map here. There is a large free car park just a couple of minutes walk away, shown on the map. A colour poster promoting the symposium is available for download here.

We look forward to seeing you there in Talgarth on Saturday 3rd November at the Symposium!

CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch Annual General Meeting 5th July 2018

CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch Annual General Meeting 5th July 2018

Brecon and Radnor Branch
2018 Annual General Meeting
3pm Thursday 5th July 2018
Old Stable, Penyrheol Chapel, nr Llanigon

AGENDA

    1. Chairman’s welcome and statement
    2. Apologies for absence
    3. Minutes of 2017 Annual General Meeting
    4. Matters arising from the minutes
    5. Chairman’s report
    6. Financial report and adoption of accounts. Treasurer
    7. Election of officers and committee members:
      1. Membership Secretary and Treasurer, Ann Payne would like to retire from the Committee at the next AGM but would like to hand over Treasurer duties at the end of December 2018 as this is the end of our financial year. We are looking for a new Treasurer to start at the beginning of 2019.
      2. We welcome new committee members to help us in our interesting and important work.
    8. Any other business
  1. BRB-CPRW Secretary: tel. 01544 260 839

There will be tea, coffee and cake!

Directions for Penyrheol Chapel (map)

From Brecon: Approaching Talgarth from Bronllys, turn left opposite the Castle pub on to the A4078 in the direction of Three Cocks,  past the new school.   After ¼ mile turn right signed Felindre.  Keep village hall on your left, through village and stay on narrow road in the direction of Tregoyd until you see the sign to turn right to Penyrheol.   Over cattle grid, past cottage and farm on left and keep on going – the chapel is on the righthand side.  Postcode:  LD3 0SR. Map.

From Glasbury: Follow the A438 in direction of Brecon.   Take 1st left immediately after the de-restriction sign onto the A4078 towards Talgarth.   Take 2nd turning on the left signed Felindre and follow instructions as above. Map.

Update: Petition to Welsh Assembly to Control Environmental Impacts of Intensive Poultry Units

Update: Petition to Welsh Assembly to Control Environmental Impacts of Intensive Poultry Units

On 22nd May, our petition was handed in to the Welsh Assembly Petitions Committee, having attracted 4,567 signatures, mostly from Wales and neighbouring English border counties.

We very much welcomed the help and support, both drafting the petition and collecting signatures, of a number of environmental NGOs. These included the Wildlife Trusts, in particular the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, Plantlife, the Woodland Trust, Countryside Restoration Trust, Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries, the Angling Trust/Fish Legal among others as well as a number of high-profile environmental campaigners.

The petition has been mentioned in the local press, on radio and online and seems to have focussed some much needed political attention on the urgent problems surrounding these developments. To see how the debate is evolving, please see the following links:
• 30th April: Letter from Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary, to David Rowlands, Chair of the Petitions Committee;
• 30th May: CPRW B&R to David Rowlands, petition evidence provided in response to Lesley Griffiths letter of 30 April;
• 5th June: Senedd TV Petitions Committee debate and minutes of the debate;
• 12th June: Letter from Welsh Government’s Chief Planning Officer to County Council Heads of Planning.

The Chief Planning Officer’s letter sets out the need to ‘exercise particular care’ when considering applications close to sensitive environmental areas or to homes and schools, and also the need to consider cumulative impacts. While this is most welcome, the letter only addresses the range of problems associated with these applications in very general terms. It remains to be seen whether it has an impact on planning decisions.

During the continued consideration of our petition, we hope to see:
• acknowledgement of the multiple failures in the determination of these applications;
• stricter control of impact on the non-designated natural environment, including ancient woodland;
• clear guidance on the division of responsibility between NRW and determining LPAs;
• NRW acting up to its responsibility to reverse the decline in biodiversity by maintaining objections where negative impacts are likely;
• an end to reliance on conditions which LPAs have no realistic means of effectively enforcing.
• development of guidance on human health issues including proximity to residents;
• a biosecurity policy for minimum separation of intensive poultry developments according to type;
• clear guidance on how LPA decision-making must address cumulative impacts of multiple intensive livestock units on the natural environment and residential amenity;
• Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales address the issue of the lack of effective regulation of intensive poultry units for fewer than 40 thousand birds;
• development of effective regulation to address diffuse agricultural pollution, along the lines of that in place in England and Scotland;
• funding of research to improve the evidence base for assessing the true environmental impacts of intensive livestock farming;
• A moratorium on approval of applications to allow assessment of the cumulative environmental impacts of IPUs already existing – see Wales Environment Link position statement.

Thank you for your support.

We will be continuing to campaign!

Garden Party – CPRW at 90

Garden Party – CPRW at 90

Brecon & Radnor Branch of Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales are celebrating

CPRW at 90
with
A Garden Party at Broadheath House Garden
Presteigne LD8 2HG
Courtesy of Steve and Andrea Jude

Broadheath House Garden

Sunday May 13th 2018
3.00pm
An Italianate Walled Garden
Designed by Clough Williams-Ellis
Celebration to be opened by Sir Roy Strong

Entry £5 – to include tea
Registered Charity No. 2398899

Our CPRW at 90 Garden Party is open to non-members too!

Directions:
2 miles east of Presteigne, 4 miles west of Shobdon on the B4362. From the west turn right into the drive opposite the middle of Broadheath common. From the east, 30 seconds after the sign for Wales turn left into the drive. Map.

Hendy Appeal Inquiry, Fundraising Events and Llandegley Starlings

Hendy Appeal Inquiry, Fundraising Events and Llandegley Starlings

Hendy Appeal Inquiry
The CPRW Brecon and Radnor evidence for the Hendy Appeal Inquiry was submitted on Tuesday 13th February to meet the midnight deadline. The branch evidence consists of a Proof of Evidence on impacts on landscape and heritage, prepared by Michelle Bolger, Landscape Consultant, and our evidence submissions on other matters. These include concerns regarding the developer’s case under the headings of ecology, ornithology (including the Llandegley starlings), hydrology, socio-economic issues and tourism, including outdoor tourism, local amenity, and impacts on Llandegley Rhos Common and the adjacent inclosed Common Land.

You can view all CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch submissions via this link.

The Appeal website is found on this link. All evidence documents submitted by the developers, Powys and ourselves will be uploaded to this site.

Details of the Inquiry Hearing itself are as follows:

Tuesday 13th to Friday 17th and Tuesday 20th March, with a possible extra day on Wednesday 21st.
Venue: Pavillion, Spa Rd, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 5EY. (Map)
The Inspector is Hywel Wyn Jones.

We know there is a great deal of public interest in this appeal and very much hope that members of the public will attend the inquiry to demonstrate the degree of local concern. If you are attending you may find it useful to download any key documents and plans from the planning website which are likely to be referred to during proceedings. The Inspector has indicated that the programme for the Inquiry is likely to be topic based, with Powys’s reasons for refusal, i.e. impacts on landscape, heritage and rights of way, coming before other matters raised by the branch, but the final programme will be agreed at the opening of the Inquiry.

If you are intending to speak at the Inquiry, bear in mind that the Inspector has already received all the objections submitted to Powys before determination as well as all objections submitted last autumn. There is no need to reiterate objections already made, or repeat what another speaker has said, and as time is tight the Inspector will really appreciate speakers being brief, to the point and bringing up new issues only. From advice on fighting appeals produced by Friends of the Peak District:

Speaking at an inquiry – Most people appearing at an inquiry will do so as members of the public, rather than having rule 6 party status. There are some key things to remember.

  • Think carefully about what you want to say, pick out the key elements of your objection to the development. It is best to read out a written statement.
  • If you are part of group, decide who would be best presenting the evidence and answering questions during cross-examination. The inspector will appreciate the time this saves.
  • If you are working with other groups, it is a good idea to form a partnership or coalition, and split the evidence according to the issue, expertise and knowledge. Don’t all give the same evidence – although you should make clear you support everything each other says. This will look organised and professional.
  • It is vital that you are there at the beginning of the inquiry as the inspector will run through the schedule and ask who would like to speak. If you miss this, you may not be able to speak at the inquiry. Tell the inspector if you can’t attend the whole inquiry, so that they can try to re-arrange the schedule to include you.

Two more things:

Fundraising events at Bledffa: 11th March

  • 2-4pm Appalachian Step Dancing Workshop (limited places) with tuition and live music from my Old Time Band “Little Hoedown”
  • 7.30pm concert with choice local musicians – Black Mountain Boy, Little Hoedown, Rose Westrip Band plus a few more, and maybe a poet.

Tickets £10 for the workshop bookable from Louise on 01982 551116, and £5 for the evening concert from 01544 350407, 01982 551116, or 01547 528315.

Llandegley Starlings
Excellent footage of a Starling Murmuration at Llandegley has been uploaded to YouTube, see here . The roost is now listed on the Starlings in the UK Roost Map and we’ve also heard that a film crew were on site last weekend to gather footage for use in a TV wildlife documentary.

Stay warm, and have a Happy St David’s Day!

Best wishes

Margaret Tregear
CPRW Brecon & Radnor Committee

Petition To Welsh Assembly For Better Regulation Of The Intensive Poultry Farming Industry In Wales

Petition To Welsh Assembly For Better Regulation Of The Intensive Poultry Farming Industry In Wales

CPRW Brecon & Radnor branch has made a petition to the Welsh Assembly Petitions Committee about better regulation of the Intensive Poultry Farming Industry in Wales to protect the environment for future generations. Please follow this link to see and SIGN THE PETITION.

Petitioning the Assembly is one of the most direct ways in which members of the public can raise matters of concern or suggest new policies and different ways of doing things. If we can collect 5,000 signatures or more, the Petitions Committee will automatically consider requesting a plenary debate – where all 60 Assembly Members will be able to discuss the issue.

We have tried to discuss the risks with Powys Planning Authority and done our best to achieve better regulation via the emerging Powys LDP but, so far, the rate of approval has not changed and the Council have rejected the idea of a proper policy to provide environmental protection and clarity for all parties.

Our data about applications to Powys Planning Department for Intensive Poultry Units shows that there have been 99 APPLICATIONS in the last 30 months with ONLY ONE refused. We produced an interactive map of all Powys applications known to us which can be freely accessed with a lot more information on our website. There are now (including units in planning) 7 million chickens in Powys at any one time.

Free-range egg developments, which make up 72 of the 99 applications, are usually too small to require an NRW permit (threshold 40,000 birds) and yet, according to research by NRW to be published very soon, they are even more environmentally damaging than the larger broiler units.

Ammonia concentrations and nitrogen deposition in much of the Powys countryside are now surpassing the critical levels for some rare lower plant species to survive but yet more intensive farms are being crammed into saturated areas. Our steep valleys and high rainfall mean that effluents and manure are running off into the rivers. Chicken farms are being approved regardless of inappropriate sites near sensitive rivers and ancient woodlands, inadequate range-sizes, proximity to neighbours and the cumulative impacts they will have with all the nearby chicken sheds.

The Brecon & Radnor Branch joins with the Montgomery Branch to ask you to PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION and publicize it as widely as you can in your own area to help make this industry safer and more sustainable for all of our Welsh countryside.

Thank you.

Powys LDP Update & Fundraiser Concert for Hendy Appeal

Powys LDP Update & Fundraiser Concert for Hendy Appeal

Happy New Year 2018!

Liven up bleak January with two very important dates for the diary.

1. Powys Local Development Plan – Renewable Energy Hearing Session 19:

Please put next Wednesday 10th January in the diary and come along if you possibly can to what is likely to be the final Hearing Session of the LDP. The Inspector has decided that the Council’s renewable energy policy is not yet fit for purpose and has called this very important Hearing Session to discuss potential changes to draft policy.

This is probably our last opportunity to influence the final LDP and our last opportunity to demonstrate the public concern about the Council’s Renewable Energy policy to the Inspector. Please be there if at all possible – it is critically important that the Inspector understands how important this area of policy is to local residents.

The hearing is on 10th January 2018, next Wednesday, and will begin at 10.00 a.m. The venue is the Media Resource Centre (MRC Wales Ltd.), Oxford Road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 6AH. (Media Centre location map)

The Inspector’s Agenda and participants’ Hearing Session statements are found on the LDP Examination website.

Both Powys branches of CPRW are participants in the hearing session, supported by planning barrister Tina Douglass. Njord Wind Developments (the company behind the Bryn Blaen and Hendy Wind Farms), RES (Renewable Energy Systems) and RenewableUK Cymru are also participants. A substantial public presence is essential.

If possible, please let the Programme Officer, Tracey Smith, know if you intend to attend: Email: tracey.smith@powys.gov.uk; Tel: 07919396609

2. Fundraiser concert for Hendy Appeal – 26th January 8pm at Knighton Community Centre Bar – Please see attached poster for full details

This concert is held in support of our fight against the Hendy Wind Farm on Llandegley Rhos near Penybont. This should be a very enjoyable evening and at the same time you will be helping to see off this serious threat to an iconic Radnorshire landscape.

‘It’s unusual to find someone who’s as good a songwriter as an instrumentalist. Vera van Heeringen is that person. A consummate guitarist, highly acclaimed by her contemporaries, she brings the instrument to life in way that is entirely her own. Vera also writes tunes and songs which deliver straight to – and from – the heart. Firmly rooted in Transatlantic traditions, her original contemporary Americana showcases both these skills: firebrand instrumental virtuosity and poignant, emotionally astute songwriting.

An early starter, raised in the bluegrass scene in her native Holland, Vera has long been recognised for her elegant yet gutsy guitar style – a skill which transposes to pretty much anything with strings! A musician with integrity and style in equal measure. In 2015, Vera released her second album, Proper Brew, which features a roll call of top-drawer musicians who share her musical aesthetic, and hold her in high esteem – amongst them Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, Rayna Gellert and Kris Drever. Vera’s third album is imminent.

Her live performances are intimate, understated affairs, allowing the music to speak for itself. Stripped back, potent, and full of groove. Outstanding flatpicking, fulsome fiddle playing, heartbreaking lyrics, and assured natural vocal tone and driving tunes are all integral to the show.

Currently Vera tours with a watertight acoustic trio featuring harmony king Dave Luke on guitar, vocals and mandolin and double-bass stalwart Andy Seward.’

We are very much hoping for a substantial turnout at both these events. Please copy this link and forward to anyone who might be interested in the Hearing and/or the Concert.

Thank you.

Margaret

Powys Local Development Plan – Additional Hearing Session 10th January 2018

Powys Local Development Plan – Additional Hearing Session 10th January 2018

The Powys Local Development Plan is still heading towards the finish line. The Inspector, Nicola Gulley, has decided that a further public Hearing Session is needed to look again at renewable energy policy.

The hearing is on 10th January 2018 and will begin at 10.00 a.m. The venue is the Media Resource Centre (MRC Wales Ltd.), Oxford Road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 6AH. Media Centre map.

The agenda for the session can be found on the LDP Examination website.

Representations to the Matters Arising Changes public consultation can be found on this link and hearing session statements by the participants will be uploaded to the hearing website sometime after the 15th December.

CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch and CPRW Montgomeryshire will be participants in the hearing session with the legal support of planning barrister Tina Douglass.

Also participating are several representatives of the renewables industry.

Please put 10th January 2018 in your diaries and please do come along to the hearing session if you possibly can. Unless you are already registered as a participant, you may only spectate but a big public turnout to the Hearing Session would demonstrate to the Inspector the continuing degree of public concern about this area of planning policy. This may well be the last opportunity for any public involvement in the LDP.

If possible, please let the Programme Officer, Tracey Smith, know if you intend to attend:  Email: tracey.smith@Powys.gov.uk; Tel: 07919 396609

In the meantime wishing you all a very happy, and warm, Christmas,

Margaret Tregear
CPRW Brecon & Radnor Committee

The Future of our Hills – Powys Uplands, Policy and Brexit

The Future of our Hills – Powys Uplands, Policy and Brexit

The Future of our Hills – Powys Uplands, Policy and Brexit

An open meeting to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our upland areas.

Saturday 21st October 2017 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Knighton Hotel, Broad Street, Knighton, LD7 1BL
(Map)

Speakers include:
Professor David Austin, Professor of Archaeology, Lampeter
Justin Hanson, Natural Resources Wales
Julian Jones, Director of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Sorcha Lewis, High Nature Value farmer
Liz Lewis-Reddy, Head of Living Landscapes, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Professor Michael Woods, Professor of Human Geography, Aberystwyth
Nick Myhill, farmer and wildlife consultant

Event organised by Brecon & Radnor Branch of the
Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.

£5 per person for CPRW members, £10 for non-members.
Cost includes refreshment and buffet lunch.

For further information and to book telephone 01497 821668.

http://www.brecon-and-radnor-cprw.wales/
Registered charity number 239899.