Row breaks out over council's windfarm stance

Mid Wales | News | Published:

A dispute has broken out over claims that Powys County Council has weakened its opposition to controversial plans to build windfarms in Mid Wales.

County Councillor Rosemarie Harris

Campaigners say they are "surprised and disappointed" by what they see as the council's withdrawal of some of its objections.

But the council has denied its position had changed on the plans which are currently subject to a public inquiry in Welshpool.

The inquiry was set up after Powys County Council's cabinet raised objections to plans for windfarms at Llanbadarn Fynydd, Llanbrynmair, Llaithddu, Llandinam and Carnedd Wen as well as the installation of an electricity line at Llandinam.

However, the council has been accused of withdrawing elements of its opposition to some of what is being proposed, particularly by entering what is known as a "statement of common ground" on matters relating to the cumulative landscape and visual impact of the proposals.

Jonathan Wilkinson from Montgomeryshire Against Pylons said he felt the council had changed it position.

He said: "We are surprised and disappointed at what we see is a change in approach from the council."

"Our initial arguments remain and we will carry on with what we are doing."

However, County Councillor Rosemarie Harris, cabinet member for planning, said alterations have only been made to the council's position when revisions to the plans rendered its original position unsustainable.


She added changes were made when new information was provided to address perceived deficiences, and investigations demonstrated an issue initially raised could not be supported or maintained.

The councillor added: "It is a routine part of the process and one expected by the inspector, that the council enter into appropriate statements of common ground on a range of topics so as to clarify issues.

"The council has been criticised for having entered into statement of common ground on matters relating to the cumulative landscape and visual impact of the proposal.

"This was one of many such statements entered into by the council and others to assist the inquiry and in no sense prejudices the council's case in relation to its outstanding objections."

She said after expert advice, no credible and sustainable evidence to object to the plans on tourism, economic and transport grounds had been identified.

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