A LIVELY crowd of close to 200 turned out to voice their concerns over the “industrialisation of Mid Wales” at a meeting about windfarm projects this week.

There was a lively debate at the Pavilion in Llandrindod Wells on Tuesday evening, April 30, one that got heated and even saw some speakers heckled, as those present discussed controversial plans to build three renewable energy parks locally.

Bute Energy and Green GEN Cymru’s proposals could see energy parks and wind farms built on land in the Radnor Forest, near Llandegley; Gilwern Hill, just outside Hundred House; and Aberedw Hill, near Builth Wells.

The meeting was organised by Llandrindod Wells Town Council, whose call for Powys County Council (PCC) to hold a referendum into proposals has been backed by Builth Wells Town Council – despite being shot down by the local authority.

County Times:  People are largely against the sigh of unsightly pylons in Powys. People are largely against the sigh of unsightly pylons in Powys.

Llandrindod town councillor David Markinson chaired the meeting, with colleague Steve Deeks-D'Silva and Builth mayor Mark Hammond joining him at the top table.

Jenny Chryss, campaign lead for the group RE-think, and Dr Joe Botting, a renowned local palaeontologist, were alongside them.

PCC told Llandrindod Town Council earlier this year that a Development of National Significance (DNS) – such as a wind farm – is handled for the Welsh Government by Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW).

But Councillor Markinson said this was handing a “tremendous and unfair advantage” to large corporate bodies.


“We cannot grant an unfair two-tiered planning system where large businesses can walk into Wales and use the climate change card of fear to accelerate themselves into profit at the expense of everyone else,” said Cllr Markinson.

“Planning has to be fit for all and seen as a fair and even playing field, otherwise all respect for it is lost.”

Dr Botting, who was instrumental in the discovery of a hugely significant fossil deposit in Radnorshire last year, described the Builth, Landrindod and Llandegley areas as “sacred”.

“Putting wind farms on Gilwern Hill would be akin to putting a wind farm on Stonehenge,” he told those gathered.

Ms Chryss labelled the Bute and Green GEN plans as an attempt to turn the area into a “massive industrial wind farm estate”.

County Times:  'No To Pylons' banners and signs have cropped up around Powys roadsides, including this one just outside Builth. 'No To Pylons' banners and signs have cropped up around Powys roadsides, including this one just outside Builth. (Image: Matt Jones)

Besides the panel, there was a nod to the lack of presence by Bute Energy and Green GEN Cymru, with seats labelled for their representatives unoccupied at the front of the stage.

One lady suggested going to the Senedd en masse, while Cllr Deeks-D'Silva and Cllr Hammond said unity was key and that momentum from the meeting needed to “snowball”.

A second round of consultation on the Green GEN Towy Usk project, transporting renewable energy from Bute Energy’s flagship Nant Mithil Energy Park in the Radnor Forest to Carmarthenshire, is currently underway, and finishes next Wednesday, May 8.

A spokesperson for Bute Energy said: “We have spent the past 18 months engaging with communities, sharing information about our projects and listening to individuals and groups with concerns.

“Our upcoming announcement of a consultation around the Nant Mithil Energy Park has been planned to maximise public engagement and ensure that the community is fully and accurately informed of our proposals.

“We are looking forward to share details of the project in due course and to hear from the local community.”