Work will be able to continue at the controversial Hendy Wind Farm site near Llandrindod Wells, after a legal challenge to the development was dismissed on Monday, March 18.
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) group in Brecon and Radnor initiated the High Court challenge to the decision made by Lesley Griffiths AM to allow the development to proceed.
This decision, by the Welsh Government Rural Affairs Minister, had overturned previous ones made by Powys County Council and a Planning Inspector who were both against granting permission for the seven wind turbines to be built at Llandegley.
Work began on the site back in December, before planning permission discharges had been finalised, which had protesters up in arms. Then, CPRW took legal action to extend an injunction stopping developers from working at the site until all permission discharge conditions had been met, but failed. Now, one of the seven turbines is already up.
Mike Stevens, a campaigner who lives near to the site at Llandegley, said his reaction to the loss of the court case was “one of absolute horror”.
“It’s a terrible situation. It sets a precedent that anybody can come along and do this as well,” he said.
“Public opinion, local opinion, has absolutely no say in this whatsoever.”
Mr Stevens also said that the only way to challenge the decision was through the courts, which CPRW spent hundreds if not thousands of pounds on; which was all now “useless money”.
In lodging the high court challenge, Jonty Colchester, chair of Brecon And Radnor CPRW, said: “This incomprehensible decision by Lesley Griffiths ignores all our local County Council representations and the basic tenets of Planning Policy Wales. There is really no point in having a planning framework if it can simply be ignored.
“We are not against wind energy: Powys generates a great deal of it from strategic search areas designated for the purpose. This decision rides roughshod over the countryside and we will fight to the last to reverse it.
“As always we will have to turn to our supporters to fund the appeal and a national CPRW campaign is being mounted. CPRW recognises that if this development is allowed to proceed, a disastrous precedent will be set to allow wind-farms anywhere in Wales.”ng mounted. CPRW recognises that if this development is allowed to proceed, a disastrous precedent will be set to allow wind-farms anywhere in Wales”.
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