- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

No party politics in Powys when it comes to battle against windfarms

Two of Montgomeryshire’s most prominent politicians promise party politics won’t play a part when it comes to fighting plans to build a series of windfarms on Mid Wales’ unspoilt countryside.

Tory MP Glyn Davies and Lord Carlile of Berriew, Montgomeryshire’s Lib Dem MP between 1983 and 1997, say party lines won’t play a part when it comes to ensuring north Powys’ uplands are not industrialised with hundreds of giant wind turbines.

A public inquiry into plans for the five windfarms could start on June 4.

The legal battle to stop the turbines being built on the hills of north Powys will be key in the fight to stop a power line and pylons being run across Shropshire countryside.

Lord Carlile said: “25 years ago as Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire I warned against the industrialisation of the Mid Wales countryside by onshore windfarm pylons. What then seemed a threat has now become a curse.

“The economics do not add up, the hills would be despoiled. I join with Glyn Davies MP and other right-thinking people in opposing this unnecessary attack on our beautiful rural county.”

Earlier in the week anti-windfarm campaigners launched an appeal for financial help as they aim to raise £150,000 to contest a major public inquiry into five windfarm applications next year, while Powys County Council faces a £2.8 million bill to contest at the public inquiry.

With this in mind Glyn Davies MP spoke in Parliament about the unfair costs being imposed on rural councils in their attempts to prevent wealthy developers winning the argument at a public inquiry.

Directing a question to Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, he asked what steps he would be taking to enable local communities to defend opposition to onshore windfarms within their local areas.

He said: “Powys council is a small, rural, hard-pressed local planning authority that is currently having to divert £2.8 million from public services to defend refusals of windfarm applications at public inquiry.

“The local community is also raising £150,000 for the same purpose while developers have access to unlimited funds demanded from consumers. How can this possibly be fair?”

Responding to Glyn’s question, Edward Davey MP replied: “One reason why we have made the call for evidence on how local communities can benefit is to ensure that developers come forward and engage with local communities far better and in a less adversarial way than we have seen in some cases.”

Later in the session, Glyn Davies challenged the Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley MP, saying: “This is a David versus Goliath position. We need to have an urgent debate on the way in which appeals are funded. That would give us an opportunity to demonstrate that the Government is not entirely on the side of Goliath.”