MP in call for a halt to windfarm inquiry
A public inquiry into whether windfarms should be built in Mid Wales and linked to the power supply in Shropshire should be suspended, an MP claimed today.
Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said a ruling in Scotland, which has seen a windfarm application thrown out because the applicants did not have a licence to generate electricity from the industry regulator prior to lodging the plans, could have an impact south of the border.
In a Court of Session ruling, Lady Clark of Calton overturned permission previously granted in April for a 370 megawatt Viking wind farm in Shetland. She said the scheme needed to have a generation licence before it could be given the go-ahead, but the Scottish government has said it will appeal against the ruling and a final judgement is expected in February 2014.
However, Mr Davies said he believes four out of five of the applicants in the Mid Wales inquiry have not obtained such a licence from Ofgem and has called on Andrew Poulter, planning inspector to halt the inquiry.
He said he was writing to both Mr Poulter and Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, to ask for the inquiry to be suspended and was eagerly awaiting a response.
Mr Davies said: "The windfarm inquiry held in Welshpool should not be allowed to continue whilst this level of uncertainty hangs over the very basis of the developers' applications.
"The cost of this inquiry to local residents is ridiculous and they should not be made to continue fighting this cause until the appeal of this appeal has been heard.
"You cannot continue as if the law has no consequence. That is why I have written to Ed Davey, the secretary of state and Andrew Poulter, the public inspector, to ask that the inquiry be suspended immediately."
Earlier this year Mr Davies called on the inquiry to be halted due to a technicality involving the United Nations meaning the hearing could end up being worthless.
The UN has raised the issue that there has not been any public consultation on the UK's national renewable energy policy.
The UN Economic Commission for Europe, a body that rules on international conventions, found the UK Government had acted illegally by not allowing public participation in the formulation of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan.
Mr Davies says it called into question the legal validity of any further planning consent for all future windfarm developments - a move backed by former Montgomeryshire MP Lord Carlile.
The inquiry, which is being held on various dates, is being held at the Royal Oak Hotel in Welshpool.
It is proposed to build windfarms in Llanbadarn Fynydd, near Llandrindod Wells; Llaithddu, near Newtown; Llandinam, near Llanidloes; Llanbrynmair, near Machynlleth; Carnedd Wen, near Machynlleth; with electric line connection from a Llandinam windfarm to the Welshpool substation.
Mr Poulter was unavailable for comment.
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