The Powys landscape, of rolling hills dotted with farms, its winding lanes lined with mature trees and hedgerows, its sylvan meadows, is a timeless land of outstanding beauty that could still appear to be in the early twentieth century. Which is why so many visitors love coming for its tranquil idyll.
The recent decision, therefore, by the environment minister to grant approval to the Hendy windfarm at Llandegley because it is in the “national interest”, comes as a shock, given the overwhelming arguments stacked against the scheme.
Despite the overwhelming local objections to the proposed development, the fact that all but one of the Powys Planning Committee voted to turn it down, the fact that it will badly affect tourism at a strategic spot (ie, where a great many tourists enter Wales) and that it will be the cause for concern for many environmental issues, the Welsh Assembly are riding roughshod over our concerns despite overwhelming local objections to the scheme. In a civilised country before such decisions are made by government they would conduct reviews into how such projects (now encroaching over huge areas of Powys with accumulated windfarms) affect residents’ health and welfare; how they affect tourism and the economy of the area (of which tourism is critical); and how they affect wildlife and habitats.
The Welsh Assembly has completely ignored every one of these vital prerequisites.
Through my work I have attracted many people to the county, and without exception they fall in love with its landscapes, and also without exception they are appalled at the manner in which these landscapes are being industrialised on such a massive scale by so many wind turbines.
The minister has shown absolutely no respect for Powys or its people, but is falling over herself to help a foreign developer make vast profits at our expense.
Much of those profits are accrued in cock-eyed Ruritanian fashion, when they have to turn the wind turbines off, so that they get even greater income for not producing any power!
Clearly, with this unbalanced Labour-dominated state, which appears to have no time for rural constituencies, there is little democracy remaining.
Powys would clearly be far better off if it was part of England. Historically Wales has many times been at war with itself – it seems we are now returning to these barbarian times where this iniquitous assembly is doing all it can to reduce rural Wales to abject poverty.
What is so chilling about this hideous decision is that given the beauty of the Llandegley landscape and the powerful arguments against it being vandalised in this way, practically nowhere in Wales can be safe from these monstrous schemes while this short-sighted assembly remains in power.
It seems that the Welsh countryside is now wide open for trashing on a scale that has never before been witnessed.
Artist and author, Aberedw, Powys