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Court overturns Mid Wales turbines ruling

Oswestry | News | Published:

Controversial plans for two windfarms in Mid Wales will be reviewed by the energy minister after the High Court quashed a decision to refuse the schemes.

The ruling means Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, will look again at cases for windfarms at Carnedd Wen, near Llanidloes, and Llanbrynmair.

The High Court yesterday overturned a decision by the Government in September to throw out the plans for RWE Innogy's 150MW Carnedd Wen windfarm and RES's 90MW Llanbrynmair project.

Both applications were recommended for approval by the planning inspector following a public inquiry and went to a judicial review following their refusal.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies, who has led the fight against the proposed windfarms, said despite initial appearances that the decision has been reversed, it has simply taken the process back a step again.

He said: "I haven't got any concerns. In a sense we have gone back to where we were, but I am more than hopeful that the outcome will be the same.

"I knew before Christmas that the Department of Energy and Climate Change had identified a failure in the 'appeal process' and felt the best course was to re-run – without the failure. I don't have a problem with this.

"The secretary of state at DECC will now reconsider and retake her decisions.

"I anticipate that, based on the same evidence and same inspector's recommendations, she will come to the same decision."

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In a statement, RWE Innogy UK said: "RWE Innogy UK can confirm, following its request for a judicial review into the refusal of consent for the Carnedd Wen windfarm in Powys, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has notified the court that it accepts the quashing of that decision.

"We hope the secretary of state will now take a fresh look at this project.

"We remain convinced that this is one of the best remaining locations for a windfarm in Wales and that, following the global co-operation and agreement reached at the UN climate conference in Paris, onshore wind still has a significant role to play in reducing energy bills and meeting Welsh low carbon and green growth aspirations."

Tim French, RES's head of projects for England and Wales, added: "RES welcomes the news that DECC's decision to refuse Llanbrynmair has been quashed and DECC will now reconsider this important low carbon energy project, following our request for a judicial review of the decision in October. RES now awaits the secretary of state's new decision and will continue to keep the local community informed of progress."

In September, proposed windfarms at Llaithddu and Llanbadarn Fynydd were also refused, and plans to construct new power lines from Llandinam windfarm to the national grid just north of Oswestry were also dismissed. These decisions are unaffected by the High Court's ruling.

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