A Welsh Government minister has overturned decisions by the Powys Planning Committee and a planning inspector and given the thumbs up to a windfarm near Llandrindod Wells.
In a written statement, Lesley Griffiths AM, the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs outlined why she overturned previous decisions to reject the windfarm.
Now at Hendy, between Penybont and Llandegley seven wind turbines that could rise to be 110m high can be built by Njord Energy.
The company originally submitted the plans in 2014.
Ms Griffiths said: “The Welsh Government is committed to renewable and low energy carbon energy generation.
“Planning Policy Wales (PPW) sets out the need to take into account the wider environmental, social and economic benefits and opportunities from renewable and low carbon energy development as part of the Government’s overall commitment to tackle climate change.
“In this case I am satisfied the inspector has considered the relevant issues in full.
“However, I do not agree with the conclusion.
“PPW notes in the short to medium term, wind energy continues to offer the greatest potential for delivering renewable energy and the need for wind energy is a key part of the Welsh Government’s vision for future renewable electricity production.
“This should be taken into account by decision makers when determining such applications,
“I consider the benefits of the proposal in-terms of delivering renewable energy are material considerations which are sufficient to outweigh the identified impacts of the scheme on landscape and visual amenity and the balance, therefore weighs in favour of the appeal.”
Powys County Council (PCC) had expected a decision to be made by Ms Griffiths just before Christmas
A spokesman for PCC said it had only just been made aware of the minister’s decision:
“We are aware of the minister’s intervention on this planning application.
“A decision was made by Powys’ planning committee which was backed by a planning inspector.
“We will be looking at her decision with interest and it’s implications.”
Hendy Wind Farm, which is part of Njord Energy, say the seven wind turbines could produce a maximum capacity of 2.5MW each.
If built the wind farm could generate enough energy to meet the demands for around 9,800 homes every year.
The turbines will connect into the local distribution network at Llandrindod Wells.
They also say that over the lifetime of the wind farm (25 years), the scheme could deliver around £2m for investment in local community projects.
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