HENDY WIND-FARM at LLANDEGLEY RHOS: APPEAL
Following Monday’s disappointing judgment by Sir Wyn Williams refusing us permission for judicial review, CPRW supporters will be very pleased to hear that, after consultation with our legal team Richard Buxton Solicitors and Cornerstone Barristers, and with their generous support, we have today decided to seek to appeal the decision.
Planning Policy Wales fully acknowledges the importance of wind-farms and sets out very clear criteria for their location. It states that only in EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES can they be located near ancient monuments. It was for this reason that Powys County Council rejected the Hendy Developers’ application by 11-1, and that the Inspector rejected the Developers’ appeal in May last year. It did not seem tenable to us that after twenty years of national and local debates about the location of wind farms in sensitive landscapes, the Welsh Government’s Lesley Griffiths could decide that exceptional circumstances existed to allow this wind farm – and without explaining why.
CPRW nationally and locally are NOT opposed to wind-farms in principle. They are a vital alternative energy source and as such a counter to climate change. Powys is already a huge net energy exporter. But they should not and cannot be located haphazardly all over sensitive landscapes, and we are resolved to fight to the last to prevent this happening.
The fact that the Developers immediately proceeded with unauthorised work, without fulfilling any of the conditions set out in the permission and with reckless haste, serves only to confirm their indifference to the environment and the local community. For the record, the development company is owned by U&I Ltd, London-based speculative property developers.
Thanks to the many local residents and community groups who have supported us, we will be able to continue the humble struggle for our wonderful landscape in the Courts. Even if we do not succeed, we consider we must make the effort to go to appeal.
With all best wishes,
Chair, Brecon & Radnor CPRW
22 March 2019
We have been informed today by Cardiff Court that we have failed to get permission to proceed with the appeal against Lesley Griffiths’ decision. An appeal against this decision will cost us more money than we can afford, and looks unlikely to succeed.
I know this will be a huge disappointment to all our supporters and to the many of you who have contributed to the cause, to the many that worked hard on the case and turned out in all weathers on Llandegley Rhos.
There is some comfort to be drawn from the fact that we have shown that imperious decisions like this will not go unchallenged; that onshore wind farms located insensitively generate a lot of local opposition and a lot of bad press as well as a full on legal fight; that the regulator has been thoroughly apprised of the unauthorised nature of the works that were rushed through to gain accreditation, and the popular anger felt by taxpayers as a result.
So all has not been lost. In the light of the above, and with the ceasing of the on shore subsidy system, it seems much less likely that there will be a repeat of such a farce.
Thank you to all those who have supported us: we can only apologise that we could not prevail.
Chair Brecon &Radnor Branch CPRW
As you are well aware, the Hendy developers pushed ahead with the development without fulfilling any of the required conditions, almost as soon as permission was granted by the Minister, Lesley Griffiths.
We appealed that decision, and nearly all of you have helped us raise the money to finance that appeal. Grounds for appeal were lodged by mid December.
However it became clear that the developers were going to have installed the first turbine before the appeal was even heard. We were therefore diverted in to a fight to halt the works. Powys County Council ruled that the works were unauthorised on December 6th, but did nothing to enforce a halt. We were successful in obtaining an urgent injunction to halt the works in Cardiff Crown Court. But at the Birmingham hearing on 20th December, our injunction to stop the unauthorised work was lifted.
Despite a lot of press coverage and local protest, the first turbine was erected just in time for the development to attempt to qualify for an Ofgem Subsidised Tariff. With this tariff in place the development will be worth a lot of money. As you would expect, we have advised Ofgem of the unlawful nature of the development and questioned whether this is really what tax payers’ money is supposed to be for. We were glad to see the case made it in to Private Eye last week (issue 1490).
Meanwhile, the appeal process is grinding on. We have to get leave to appeal, and were asked to attend a Permission Hearing in Cardiff on the 25th February, to decide this. Although this is supposed to be an ‘ex parte’ hearing, it was contested by QCs representing both the developer and the Government. Sir Wynn Williams the presiding Judge unexpectedly ruled that he was ‘reserving judgement’ so at this stage, some two week after the hearing we are in limbo as to whether the appeal will proceed or no.
Thanks to all who have contributed towards this legal fight, and to all those locals who have made their voices heard on the embattled Common, in order to prevent a precedent being set that threatens anywhere in Wales with a ministerial diktat.
With all best wishes
Chair CPRW Brecon and Radnor Branch
9 March 2019
An event which may be of interest to our subscribers posted here on behalf of the Welsh Soils Discussion Group:
The Welsh Soils Discussion Group are pleased to announce the Spring Meeting: Soil – the Essentials, in Aberystwyth on Wednesday 3 April (2019).
The day will provide an introduction to soils and the issues surrounding around them. We have a range of specialists to deliver the training and help in discussions.
The day is aimed at persons for whom (a) soil is a part of their job but not a major component or (b) people with a general interest in soil. The aim is to provide a baseline level of knowledge, network and encourage discussion.
We will have talks on:
What soils are: (Ian Rugg, WG)
Soil threats in Wales: (Jack Hannam, Cranfield University)
Soils and Farming: (Paul Newell-Price, ADAS)
Soils and Ecology: – including soil biodiversity (TBA)
Soils and Planning: (James Cooke, WG)
Soil Mapping and Earth Observation: (Katie Medcalf, Environment Systems)
We would really like you to join us for an interesting and enjoyable day (see full details in the link below). So please sign up and save the date!
The registration link is: https://soils.org.uk/node/1724
Please can you make sure you follow that link to register online – it won’t take you long, its free for members, £10 for non-members.
We need to know numbers expected, for health and safety reasons and also to make sure we have adequate refreshments!
We are seeking CPD points for the day and will let you know how many once confirmed.
Ian and Sarah