We are dismayed that parts of the beautiful Eppynt Commons in Powys are advertised for sale ‘with some potential for wind-farm development’.
The commons form part of an extensive ridge of high ground to the north of the Brecon Beacons National Park, south of Builth Wells. More than 2,500 acres, comprising four commons with over 200 graziers, are up for sale with Chester Master.
These commons are a vital element in the Welsh landscape, open and windswept, wild and free. People can walk there and the graziers depend on them for their livelihood.
It is worrying that the land should be advertised for wind development. This might encourage prospective purchasers to think they can make money out of these commons. Moreover the sale catalogue states that this is ‘a unique opportunity to buy … unspoilt common land’. It will not be unspoilt if it is defaced with wind turbines.
In fact there are many hurdles to wind-turbine development on commons. Not only does the development need planning permission, but the developer must get the agreement of the many graziers and obtain the consent of the environment minister for works on common land or for the provision of suitable land in exchange—which is of course impossible.
This wonderful landscape should be owned by a body with the public interest at its heart, such as the National Trust. We fear for the future of Mynydd Eppynt, and shall strenuously fight any plans to develop it.