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Russell George AM accuses Hendy Wind Farm developers and Welsh Government of “riding roughshod” over communities  

Credit:  By Mike Sheridan, Chief News Reporter & Staff Photographer | County Times | www.countytimes.co.uk ~~

Montgomeryshire AM Russell George has accused the Welsh Government and Hendy Wind Farm of “riding roughshod over communities” over the controversial development.

Mr George said he had written to the Welsh Government for ‘urgent clarification’ regarding plans to bring large wind turbine components through Newtown in January, a move he fears could cause serious disruption in the town.

“For Newtown and the wider area, it would be totally unacceptable for what is an already heavily congested road to have further disruption from abnormal vehicles transporting wind turbine components and other equipment for this wind farm before the new Newtown Bypass is opened,” he said.

“I understand that the first turbine components are planned to come though Newtown in mid-January. I firmly believe that the Welsh Government should not be allowing them to use this route, as the new Newtown Bypass will be opened just a few weeks later.

“As it stands, the components will be transported via abnormal heavy goods vehicles along the A483, under Nantoer Bridge, a bridge under which numerous HGVs and large vehicles have got lodged previously. With the Newtown Bypass due to open imminently, you have to wonder why the transportation of these turbines isn’t just put back by a few weeks.

“This is a rushed effort to construct the wind farm before the end of January so that the developer can receive a financial advantage.”

Opponents of the wind farm scheme on Llandegley Rhos were due in court in Birmingham today attempting to secure a judicial review into the planning process which saw Energy Secretary Lesley Griffiths AM overturn the outcome of a public enquiry to give the scheme to go ahead.

Protestors on the site also expressed concern that work appeared to be underway before all the relevant discharge conditions have been released, although Hendy Wind Farm have previously stated that the work concerns ‘pre-commencement surveys’ with some machinery delivered to site to allow enabling works to begin.

A spokesperson for Hendy Wind Farm, said: “As a responsible developer we are committed to maintaining a constructive relationship with the council and ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders and community representatives.”

Me George continued: “We are also aware that the developer is not following planning conditions that have been set. It is deeply frustrating when developers and indeed Government think they can ride roughshod over communities.

“Despite the evidence and all of the credible opposition to the wind farm application at Hendy, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs has ignored the potential impact to tourism in the area, the damaging effects on the setting of four Scheduled Ancient Monuments and the fact that four of the wind turbines will be built on a protected right of way. This is clearly unacceptable and it is a huge concern that bypassing democratic decisions and ignoring local communities is becoming the norm for the Welsh Government.

“The developers and Welsh Government Ministers should not only be concerned about the wind turbine components getting to their destination ahead of time, but should also be aware of any significant congestion that may be caused behind these abnormal delivery vehicles and the wider effects which this will have on the Mid Wales economy.”

Source:  By Mike Sheridan, Chief News Reporter & Staff Photographer | County Times | www.countytimes.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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