Hendy wind-turbines conflict with law to protect public rights

5 November 2014

The society has discovered new information which could jeopardise the Hendy wind-turbine development in outstanding countryside in rural Radnorshire.

The land on which Hendy Wind Farm Ltd proposes to erect at least four of the seven turbines, near Llandegley Rocks, Llandrindod Wells, was inclosed by an order for Hendy Bank made in 1885 which provided for permanent public access on the site.

Furthermore, the company, in taking part of the adjoining common land to create an access for heavy construction vehicles, is obliged to offer suitable land in exchange. The exchange land is also awarded land (Llandegley Rhos, 1885). This means the public already has a right to walk there and the exchange offers nothing.

Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary ‘We have sent this newly-discovered information to Powys County Council planning department, pointing out that the erection of wind turbines on awarded land may be unlawful.

‘We have also alerted the Planning Inspectorate, which is determining the application for exchange of common land, to point out that the public will gain nothing and only stands to lose under the company’s proposals.’

The land on which at least four of the turbines would stand, and the exchange land, is part of an area inclosed by two orders made under the Commons Act 1876, for Llandegley Rhos and Hendy Bank. The orders provided for a public right of access to the inclosed land: ‘a privilege at all times of enjoying air, exercise, and recreation on all parts of the land to be inclosed which shall be unplanted or uncultivated for arable purposes … no injury shall be done to the lands, or to the herbage, or the fences, or to the stock or game or to anything up on such lands.’ (Extract from the inclosure awards.)

Says Kate: ‘Clearly the development would do great injury to the land, and it may well be unlawful. Moreover, it conflicts with the public’s long-standing, statutory right of public access here. The turbines and their associated paraphernalia should be rejected both by Powys County Council as planning authority and the Planning Inspectorate which determines applications for works on, and exchanges of, common land.’