We question legality of planned wind-turbines in unique Powys beauty-spot

20 April 2017

We have slated plans for seven wind-turbines in the quiet countryside five miles east of Llandrindod Wells, Powys.

The application, first submitted by Hendy Wind Farm Ltd in 2014, comes before Powys County Council’s planning committee on Thursday 27 April. We have written a further letter to the planning committee.

We say that if the turbines are built they may be in breach of an inclosure award. The land on which it is proposed to construct at least four of the seven turbines, together with the associated development, is part of an area inclosed by orders made under the Commons Act 1876, for Llandegley Rhos and Hendy Bank. The order gives the public a right of access here and decrees that no injury shall be done to the lands.

Llandegley Rocks: this view could be obliterated by the proposed seven 110-metre-high wind turbines. Photo: Diana Hulton

Therefore, the construction of wind turbines here would be in breach of that order.

These vast turbines would dominate this very special and splendid landscape and would destroy the view of and from the magnificent Llandegley Rocks.

There are several public paths crossing the area and users of these routes would be severely affected by the sight and noise of the turbines. People visit the area because of its natural beauty, peace and tranquillity. The turbines could deter them from coming and that would result in a serious loss of tourist income to the community.

The turbines are located so as to conflict with the British Horse Society’s stated safety-distance for riders on public bridleways and byways and would therefore put equestrians at risk.

The access track to the turbines would be sited on common land. The applicants would have to submit applications under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 for works on common land, and under section 16 of the Commons Act 2006 for exchange of common land — and provide suitable land in exchange where the public does not already enjoy access. We doubt there is any such land in the area that would be eligible.

We have urged Powys County Council to reject this damaging application. If, in the deeply regrettable circumstances that it decides to grant the application, we have said that it must issue an advisory that the construction of the wind turbines on inclosure award land would be unlawful and that ministerial consents are required for any works on, or exchange of, common land.