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One man’s fight to stop wind farm being built on his doorstep near Llangurig ends in dismay

One man’s fight to stop a wind farm being built on his doorstep has ended in dismay as his final appeal has been rejected.

John Doré vowed to block plans for six turbines near Llangurig when planning approval was granted in August 2016.

The challenge has taken him to Cardiff Crown Court and the High Court in London, fighting for a statutory review of the planning permission.

His application to appeal against the High Court’s decision not to allow the review has now been rejected by the Court of Appeal, leaving him with nowhere left to turn and a £35,000 legal bill.

The rejection is the latest blow for anti-windfarm campaigners who have been against the development since plans were first submitted in October 2014.

Permission for Bryn Blaen Wind Farm was finally granted last summer after a four-day inquiry by planning inspector Aidan McCooey.

His decision meant the green light for six 100-metre turbines at the site, one mile north of Llangurig, which Mr Doré now fears could pave the way for more to follow.

“The inspector formed a view that the destruction of the views of the Welsh hills and the adverse impact on residents was justified,” said Mr Doré.

“The scars to the landscape, where roadways to the turbine sites involve cutting up to four meters into the hillside, cannot be disguised.

“Further to this farm, more turbines for a new windfarm can be expected to appear with access obtained by extending this current windfarm’s proposed access route.”

Mr Doré’s appeal was on the basis that updated guidelines state the development is not necessary to meet wind generation targets, and that the inspector should have found this during the inquiry.

This was rejected by High Court and Court of Appeal judges, who said the inspector had no duty to make such inquiries.

“There is already recognition by the Westminster government that there is no need for further wind generation,” said Mr Doré.

“The judges ruled that there was no requirement on the inspector to update himself as to the latest situation, even though this is a requirement in the rule book under which inspectors operate.

“There is no opportunity for me to appeal my case further in the UK courts which has cost me over £35,000, for which I feel I was entitled to a just outcome.”

All Mr Doré can do now is hope that the requirements set out by the inspector’s report in August cannot be met.

He said: “All is not yet at a conclusion, as no work can commence on the windfarm until all the conditions laid down by the inspector are satisfactorily discharged.

“We need some integrity and visibility in this process. Hopefully Powys County Council will take their duties very seriously in examining all submissions for discharge of conditions.”