A last minute start to work on a windfarm wasn’t enough to stop its planning permission from lapsing, Herefordshire Council has confirmed.
The council says it is now waiting on an appeal over the lapsing of permission given for four turbines – and related development – at Reeves Hill on the Herefordshire-Powys border.
In May, the Hereford Times reported the council as waiting on “legal advice” over an allegation that work that work on the site was underway without final confirmation of planning permission.
The work, undertaken at the site near Lingen ahead of the first May Bank Holiday weekend, was believed to have begun a day before a three-year planning consent was due to expire.
An application for access to the site will be determined by Powys County Council.
Herefordshire Council – which has received more than 1,000 letters of objection to the wind farm – says that, after assessment, the work started did not meet the specification of the planning conditions.
Earlier this year, landowner Sir Simon Gourlay – working with developers Bolterstone Plc – and other landowners applied to Herefordshire Council to make amendments to the existing planning permission.
Opponents claimed the amendments were a way of starting development before the permission period runs out and ahead of the decision on access – without which the turbines cannot be delivered.
Conservation body the Open Spaces Society says it is “delighted” that the planning permission has expired.
The society had joined the Stonewall Hill Conservation Group in opposing the turbines.
Kate Ashbrook, the society’s general secretary said the lapsing of planning permission was a “serious setback” to the scheme.
“We strongly oppose the devastation of this splendid countryside and will fight any new plans for turbines,” she said.
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