November 11, 2014

Judicial review granted over wind turbine plan near Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse

South Wales Evening Post | November 11, 2014 |

Campaigners fighting plans for a wind turbine near Dylan Thomas’ boathouse in Laugharne have won the right to mount a legal challenge against the decision.

A High Court judge in Cardiff has given permission for a judicial review of Carmarthenshire Council’s decision to allow the 150ft tall turbine at Mwche farm, Llansteffan, across the estuary from the poet’s former home and famous “writing shed”.

Opponents say the turbine will blight a landscape that attracts tourists and Dylan-fans from around the world, while Laugharne residents challenged the council’s decision on a number of grounds, including that the planning committee acted “irrationally” in departing from their officer’s advice on landscape and cultural heritage harm.

Barrister Annabel Graham Paul, who is acting on behalf of the campaigners, said: “This is a great step forward for the claim as it means that the council’s decision-making process will be given full scrutiny by the High Court at an oral hearing.”

In granting the judicial review, His Honour Judge Milwyn Jarman QC said the claim for a judicial review was “arguable”, meaning it will proceed to a full hearing in Cardiff some time in the New Year.

South Wales West AM and shadow heritage minister Suzy Davies was among almost 500 people to lodge objections to the plans, describing them as “daft”.

A spokesman for Carmarthenshire Council said the local authority noted the decision to grant a judicial review, and was considering the grounds of appeal.

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