Campaigners fighting to stop a wind turbine overlooked by Dylan Thomas’ boathouse at Laugharne get judicial review
A judicial Review of the decision to approve the building of a wind turbine opposite Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse in Laugharne will take place in Cardiff later this month.
The Judicial Review will be held in the High Court in Cardiff in January 19 with campaigners against the turbine plan saying the outcome could either “save or destroy” the views that inspired Dylan Thomas.
Carmarthenshire council last year granted planning consent for the erection of a 147ft high wind turbine against the recommendation of its own planning officers.
People both locally and nationally are outraged by the council’s decision.
Hannah Ellis, the granddaughter of Dylan Thomas and President of the Dylan Thomas Society of Great Britain, called the decision “absolutely absurd”.
She added: “It is appalling to allow such a special place to be ruined in this way and this huge turbine will certainly pierce the heart of the landscape and cause lasting distress to both locals and visitors alike.”
Campaigners against the proposal who are still fundraising for a legal battle have appointed a team of solicitors to challenge what they call “this irrational and unwanted planning decision”.
A spokeswoman for the campaigners said: “Many thousands of people visit the area … daytrippers, coastal path walkers, those on a literary pilgrimage.
“A glance through the visitors’ book at the Boathouse will show that it is the sheer unspoiled beauty of the estuary which is most appreciated.
“Community councils on both sides of the estuary, together with many hundreds of written objections, have failed to prevent planning approval by the council even though its own Chief Planning Officer recommended planning should be refused.
“We are not a group of anti-wind turbine activists, we are a group seeking a common sense approach to the siting of them.
“The forthcoming Judicial Review has given our communities a ray of hope to end what has been a dark and distressing time for us all.”
The campaigners say they have been touched by the generosity of people raising money to cover the legal costs of fighting the decision.
The campaigners’ spokeswoman said: “Donations large and small from pensioners, children and people from all walks of life have been received though a further £12,000 is still urgently required.”
Information on how to support the campaign can be viewed on www.dylanthomaswindturbine.co.uk or by contact with the campaign solicitors www.richardbuxton.co.uk based in Cambridge.
The proposed turbine will be placed on Mwche farm, Llansteffan, opposite the early 19th-Century Boathouse at Laugharne, where Thomas worked in the Writing Shed with remarkable views across four estuaries.
The poem Over Sir John’s Hill, the first he wrote in the Boathouse, describes the view and birds he could see from the Boathouse, while the wildlife imagery of Poem on His Birthday is also said to have been inspired by the nature surrounding the property.
The Swansea born writer is also thought to have penned Do Not Go Gentle and the “play for voices” Under Milk Wood at the Boathouse, now a tea room and art gallery.
There are fears the development could drive away tourists who visit the area in search of the scenery that inspired Thomas which includes views of the Taf estuary and the Gower peninsula, with egrets, lapwings, herons, oystercatchers, seals and otters all living in the area.
Carmarthenshire council has been asked to comment.
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