January 9, 2019

Protestors clash with security guards at wind farm

By Charlotte Moreau, Reporter | The Shuttle | www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk

A woman fell in front of a lorry as protestors fighting against a wind farm clashed with security guards.

Video footage shows the moment the campaigner managed to get up in the nick of time to avoid potentially fatal injuries.

Former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine were among those protesting against a new wind farm being built at Llandegley.

Mr Hamilton, who is now the Assembly Member for Mid Wales, said the campaigners had taken up positions on a track which crosses common land.

“We have a right to walk on that track, and the security guards were far too heavy handed,” he added.

The incident took place at the Hendy Wind Farm site to the west of Old Radnor, where planning permission to erect seven wind turbines was eventually approved by the Welsh government in October 2018 despite an initial rejection from Powys County Council and an independent Planning Inspector.

But opposition to the turbines has not diminished and protestors were moved to action last week when developers and lorries appeared on the site.

“The main bone of contention is that the developer has started work on the turbines without having a discharge of the large number of conditions attached to the permission given by the Welsh Government,” said objector Elizabeth Newman.

Mr Hamilton, who accused developers of starting work “in indecent haste” to take advantage of available subsidies, said: “The developers are busting a gut to get the first turbine up. They are rushing to finish.”

Jonty Colchester, Brecon and Radnor branch Chair of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, said: “No conditions have been discharged for this development. No site management protocols are agreed or in place.

“The entirely unlawful works are being allowed to go ahead at breakneck speed, putting public safety and environmental protection at risk.”

Mr Hamilton added: “These wind farms are a blot on the landscape in an area of outstanding natural beauty which will make absolutely no difference to global CO2 emissions.

“The entire UK produces only 1.1 per cent of the world’s CO2, while China and India produce 40 per cent and are building new coal-fired power stations every week.”

A spokesman for Hendy Wind Farm Ltd said: “We absolutely reject any suggestion that we have acted unlawfully.

“There are a small number of people including Neil Hamilton AM who are seeking to prevent us from going ahead and are misrepresenting the situation for their own ends.

“Full and detailed planning permission was granted by the Welsh Government, since when we have been working closely with community groups, the local authority and other responsible bodies to implement the permission.”

Councillor Rosemarie Harris, Leader of Powys County Council, said: “Our Development Management Team currently has a live investigation open into the Hendy wind farm development.

“Officers are carrying out regular site visits and although they have found evidence that some of the works undertaken technically amounted to a breach of planning conditions. However, they appear to be consistent with the permission granted by the Minister and information submitted by the developers, although that is still subject to review by the council and other statutory consultees.

“We are aware of concerns but a planning authority cannot take enforcement action unless it is expedient in planning terms to do so. Officers from the council and other agencies will continue to investigate and will take enforcement action if there are firm grounds on which to do so.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2019/01/09/protestors-clash-with-security-guards-at-wind-farm/