A controversial wind farm would ruin the countryside and lead to a forest of turbines being built across the Powys/Shropshire border, councillors have claimed.
Powys County Council unanimously objected to a planning application for nine wind turbines near Dolfor, Newtown, claiming it would industrialise a historic and beautiful landscape.
The council’s planning committee listed seven reasons for its objection, including an unacceptable impact on the character of the landscape, especially on Glog Hill, the Kerry Ridgeway and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an unacceptable visual impact on many public rights of way and other land especially Glyndwr’s Way and the Kerry Hill ridge and an unacceptable adverse impact on cultural heritage assets.
They also said they had insufficient information to demonstrate that noise can be managed, that the development would not have an unacceptable adverse impact on highway safety, that a safe access from the A483 could be secured to serve the proposed development and on the impact on biodiversity.
Applicant RWE Innogy UK Ltd has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds of non-determination and the councillors agreed to give delegated powers to the council’s development management with the chairman and vice chairman of planning to amend or withdraw objections reasons if extra information be provided.
Members who visited the site before the meeting, were told the nine turbines proposed would be erected on land south of Dolfor and near to Llanbadarn Fynydd incorporating some common and crown land.
The turbines would have a maximum tip height of 126m and there would also be a substation, anemometer mast, access tracks and a construction compound.
Construction will take about 16 months and the life of the windfarm would be 20 to 25 years.
Objections were received from many consultees including Natural Resources Wales, Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire Wildlife Trusts, Transport Wales, Powys Highways, Cadw, various community councils across the area and 138 letters were received from members of the public.
The committee heard from Councillor John Brunt who said this was the seventh application in a small area and if approved it would set a precedent, setting off an avalanche of applications leading to a forest of wind turbines.
Councillor Keith Tampin said it was already clear looking out from the site that towards Shropshire the landscape is beautiful and untouched but there is already a forest of turbines covering Mid Wales.
“It’s ruining our countryside’” he said.
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