Anti-windfarm campaigners who last week launched an appeal for £150,000 to contest a major public inquiry into five windfarm applications say they have had a “fantastic response”.
The money raised in just one week has enabled the Alliance to be represented by their own barrister at the pre-inquiry meetings in Llandrindod Wells on February 18 and 25.
The Alliance will be represented by Barrister David Smith, who has already undertaken a detailed tour of all the proposed windfarm sites and the pylon routes from Oswestry to Cefn Coch.
Alliance spokesperson Richard Bonfield said: “I wish to thank all of you who have supported the fighting fund following last week’s launch in the County Times.”
The pre-inquiry meetings, which take place at The Pavilion in Llandrindod Wells at 10am on February 18 and 25, will determine where the public inquiry will be held.
Richard Bonfield added: “The Alliance has argued very strongly that the best location will be Welshpool as it is close to the proposed windfarm and pylon routes.”
Since the launch of the Alliance last week, which was made up of 18 regional protest groups, a further two organisations, the Shropshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and the Montgomeryshire Federation of Women’s Institutes, has joined the united body.
Richard Bonfield said: “I am delighted that both organisations have opted to join the Alliance.”
Mr Bonfield would also like to apologise for a mistake on last week’s donation form for those wishing to donate by electronic means. The sort code for the ‘Take The Power Back’ account at HSBC bank in Welshpool was incorrectly shown but has now been corrected as 40-46-07.
He concluded: “Please keep your donations coming as we need all your support regardless of how large or how small it is.
“We need to raise a minimum of £150,000 and it is with your support that we will win.”
People can donate to the fund by completing the form that features in this week’s County Times (in shops now).
Opposition to windfarms has grown in Powys since plans were unveiled to build an electricity sub-station in the county. Cefn Coch, near Llanfair Caereinion, was chosen as the preferred site for the sub-station in July 2012.
About 2,000 campaigners gathered at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay in May last year against the plans, which includes a corridor of pylons to the grid in Shropshire from 10 planned windfarms in Mid Wales.
The five public inquiries follow the council’s rejection of large windfarm applications in Llaithdu, Carnedd Wen, Llanbadarn Fynydd and Llandinam, and a National Grid connection from Llandinam.
As a consequence of the Welsh Government’s TAN8 policy Powys had a higher proportion of wind farm applications than other authorities in Wales.
The technical advice note (TAN) 8 policy was introduced in 2005 as guidance on windfarms. It allows councils to decide on windfarms up to 50 megawatts in size.
Powys County Council plans to help fund the public inquiry by adding a further 0.5 per cent to everyone’s council tax in April.