Campaigners hoping to stop a wind farm being built in Herefordshire have been given new hope with the prospect of an environmental study being carried out by Powys Council.
The Stonewall Hill Conservation Group received renewed cause for optimism – despite seeing its objections against the proposed development near Lingen being quashed by a judicial review hearing last month.
But protestors may now have the backing of the Welsh Government after a proposed change to the site access road – on Welsh land – saw the impact of the four turbines on the surrounding countryside again opened up for review.
At the heart of the row is nearby Stanage Park in Knighton – a 19th century park and castellated house that featured in the 1985 BBC comedy Blott on the Landscape.
While the TV show followed a row over a proposed motorway, ironically it is the proposal to widen a road leading to the site that may determine whether the grade II-listed park’s views remain unspoilt.
Plans for the turbines were approved by Herefordshire Council in 2011, but construction cannot start until an access road is improved to allow heavy vehicles carrying parts access to the remote location.
Work on that road falls under Welsh jurisdiction, and both the Welsh Government and SHCG are now pushing to link the two projects.
This would mean both would be subject to an environmental impact assessment – a process that can take months – with the turbines again coming under scrutiny.
Sir Simon Gourlay, who owns the land, insists the turbines would bring renewable energy to thousands of homes. His claims were backed by Judge Kenneth Parker’s decision to refuse a judicial review on the Reeves Hill wind farm project.
SHCG blamed the refusal on the constraints of the judicial review process – which relies on studies produced by Herefordshire council and an EIA conducted five years ago.
In a statement SCHG spokesman Patrick Smith said: “We will continue to fight for the rights of the local people of Norton, Knighton, Presteigne and all the other border villages.
“There are many more hurdles for the Reeves Hill wind farm to go through and we intend to stop this terrible wasteful industrialization of a beautiful area.”
The action group will also contest plans for a 50-metre mast at Reeves Farm as it sees it as the first step towards building the turbines.
Although much smaller than the 105-metre turbines, the mast would be fitted with a red light to warn off aircraft.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding