The MP for Brecon and Radnorshire Roger Williams listened to the concerns of the local community of Norton, near Presteigne, recently regarding the Reeves Hill Wind Farm and Llanshay Lane Road Access Development at a protest meeting.
The meeting was organised by the Stonewall Hill Conservation Group at Norton Manor Hotel.
More than one hundred people attended, including several interested parties from Presteigne, Knighton and the border villages in Herefordshire.
Stonewall Hill, Norton, where the Reeves Hill development is proposed has views extending to a distance of over 40 miles from the North to the South West.
It is a landscape remarkable for the absence of any apparent industrialisation or large conurbation with a list of notable landmarks.
A background to the history of the Reeves Hill Wind Farm project was given by SHCG Chairman Dr Stephen Hugh-Jones.
It was a lively meeting with strong objections coming from all present. Items discussed were damage to landscape; noise levels; impact on tourism; impact on the observatory; effect on the eco system; damage to natural water sources; potential flooding; road transportation damage to Llanshay farm, a grade 2 listed building; thousands of heavy lorry journeys for road development access; property value blighting; profiteering; incorrect information regarding planning and many others.
A local amateur astronomer also raised the question of ‘laminar flow’ – relatively stable layers of air at different temperatures do not obstruct astronomical viewing close to the horizon but when these layers are perturbed by wake turbulence from wind turbines, viewing is obscured.
The Reeves Hill observatory is especially well suited to viewing stars but the wind farm could have a dramatic effect on the Welsh observatory which is looking to become one the leading UK astronomy centres.
Roger Williams said he would write to Powys County Council on behalf of the community as he agreed there was a landscape issue and it appeared that turning Stonewall Hill into an industrial site had long term implications, one of which was who would pay for the land to be returned to its original state as no bond had been raised by Herefordshire County Council against the developer.
Mr Williams also said that he had grave doubts regarding onshore wind farms green credentials.
A constructive meeting was held earlier in the month with Kirsty Williams, Brecon and Radnor Assembly Member and the Stonewall Hill Conservation Group.
Kirsty has written to Graham Brown, who holds the Planning Portfolio in Powys County Council, supporting the residents’ concerns.