LOCAL residents have won a seven-year fight to stop a windfarm being built near New Radnor.

There were smiles-a-plenty in the public gallery at County Hall, Llandrindod Wells,  as the 50-plus anxious residents present were told that applicants Cornwall Light and Power Ltd would not be given permission to build a three-turbine wind-farm at Pentre Tump, Llanfihangel-nant-Melan.

The original application was submitted back in 2002 and has evoked a strong reaction ever since, with 979 letters and emails and three petitions being sent in to Powys Planning Services opposing the plans, compared to 58 letters of support.
Bob Morgan addressed the planning committee on behalf of the applicants.

He pointed to the fact that there is less than 12 months to meet an 82 per cent shortfall in meeting Welsh Assembly Government renewable energy targets.

He said just one of the three turbines which make up the application would provide power for the New Radnor, Old Radnor and Gladestry community.

There were five speakers representing the opposition to the proposals – Nigel Dodman, of New Radnor Community Council; Old Radnor County Councillor Michael Jones, who owns a property within a mile of the application site; Stephen Graham, of Old Radnor Community Council; and Ann Nicholls, British Horse Society’s open access officer for south Powys; and Andrew Foster, who lives at Foice Farm, Llanfihangel nant Melan, the nearest property to the application site.

Mr Foster pointed to the similarities of the effects on the surrounding area to that of the Reeves Hill windfarm application just over the border in Herefordshire which Powys County Council recommended for refusal as consultees.

“Their dominance on the skyline will affect the landscape for miles around,” he added.

Mr Dodman also warned that if the application was given the go ahead it could open up the possibility of further developments.

“We believe this is an inappropriate site. The applicant has understated the sensitivity and value of the landscape.

“This is a sporadic development which could pave the way for more once the unique value of the land is lost,” he added.

The Powys Planning Committee members present were unanimous in going along with the officer’s recommendation that the application be refused.