We have objected to plans for an ugly mast on Eisteddfa Gurig Common, on the slopes of Pumlumon in Ceredigion.
The society is supporting the Cambrian Mountains Society (CMS) which has also submitted a strong objection.
Lluest y Gwynt Wind Farm Ltd applied for an 80-metre-high, steel, meteorological monitoring mast and associated paraphernalia, for three years, to measure wind speed and direction. The company has applied for planning permission and also for the environment minister’s consent under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, as is required for works on common land. The latter application is determined by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the minister.
The OSS and CMS have already objected to the planning application.
The OSS argues that the mast, with guy wires, anchor blocks and solar array, and warning lights, would be an intrusion on this lovely, wild common and would interfere with people’s enjoyment of it. With the CMS, it has pointed out that this land is part of the Pumlumon massif and is within the Upland Ceredigion Registered Historic Landscape, and the Pumlumon site of special scientific interest.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘The public has a right of access on foot over the whole area, and rights to ride on some of the Pumlumon commons. The design and access statement, submitted with the planning application, shows how ugly and intrusive the mast would be when viewed from a wide area, including adjoining commons.’
The Cambrian Way, a long-distance route between Cardiff and Conwy, passes close to the site.
The societies consider that the mast is contrary to the Welsh Government’s policy for works on common land, which only in exceptional circumstances permits works which do not maintain or improve the common. Says Kate: ‘Such exceptional circumstances certainly do not pertain here, there is no reason to site this excrescence on the common.’
The OSS regrets that the applicant failed to consult interested parties before proceeding, contrary to government advice and good practice.
‘We trust that Ceredigion Council will refuse planning permission, and that the Planning Inspectorate will refuse common-land consent,’ Kate concludes.