Controversial wind farm developers may have breached planning conditions
The developers of a controversial wind farm site may have breached their planning conditions, the county council has said.
An urgent meeting has been requested with the developers, Njord Energy, before Powys County Council officers decide whether to take enforcement action over the site in Radnorshire.
Powys County Council officers have been visiting the Hendy Wind Farm site at Llandegley regularly since they received a complaint that unauthorised works were taking place.
During a site visit on December 4, officers found evidence that some of the works which have been undertaken could potentially breach planning conditions.
Welsh Government energy minister Lesley Griffiths decided to allow the development of the wind farm in October, overturning the decision of Powys County Council’s planning committee and a Welsh Government appointed planning inspector.
She claimed the benefits of the wind farm outweighed the possible negative impacts.
Njord Energy have lodged reserved matter applications to alter the conditions of the planning permission, but the campaigners have claimed bulldozers have been seen digging on common land, breaching the conditions attached to the consent.
Protest group SOS Radnorshire said four of its members were threatened with police action when they blocked the entrance to the site.
They said consent is needed under the Commons Act to carry out work on the common and the conditions also require a level of community liaison.
The company has denied it and said it has only carried out pre-commencement surveys and delivered machinery to the site.
A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “Officers from the council’s development management team opened up an investigation after a complaint was received about the Hendy wind farm development.
"This investigation remains open to ensure that the site is appropriately monitored. Periodic site visits will also take place until the council is satisfied that no further monitoring is required.
“Officers conducted a site visit this morning and during their visit found evidence that some of the works that have been undertaken could potentially constitute as a breach of planning conditions.
“We have requested an urgent meeting with developers next week to discuss the latest developments. Once this meeting has taken place, officers will consider all relevant information before determining if any enforcement action is necessary.”
Last week Brecon and Radnor Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales confirmed it has instructed counsel to initiate a High Court challenge to the decision taken by Energy Secretary Lesley Griffiths.
The campaigners have said her decision ignores Powys County Council, the Welsh Government-approved Local Development Plan, and the recommendation of the Planning Inspector to refuse permission.
Report by Karen Compton