Protestors threaten council with legal action for allowing wind farm work
Powys County Council has been threatened with a legal challenge if it continues to allow site work on the Hendy Wind Farm to take place.
Complaints have been made by protesters that construction firms have already started work at Hendy/Llandegley Rhos, near Llandrindod Wells, before the planning permission discharges had been finalised.
The council has inspected the sites and conducted an enforcement investigation against the firms, which came to nothing.
Jonathan Colchester, chairman of the Brecon and Radnor Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) branch, said: “We have served on the council a pre-action protocol letter, addressing the legalities of the council’s position on enforcement.
“In it we demand that effective enforcement action is undertaken or we will issue proceedings against them for a judicial review of the enforcement function. We have made repeated representations to Powys County Council to enforce a halt to these illegal works without any tangible result.
"We have set out that the council has applied the wrong re-enforcement action and has misinterpreted material points of law to reach their decision not to enforce against construction works, which are of themselves unlawful because they have not followed approved plans, and are being undertaken without discharge of pre-commencement conditions.”
A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “We have received the pre-action protocol letter and will be considering the contents.”
A spokesperson for Hendy Windfarm said: “Since planning permission was issued on October 25, pre-commencement surveys have taken place and some machinery has been delivered to the site to allow enabling works to begin.
“All land rights required for access across the common land are in place.”
In October Lesley Griffiths AM, the Welsh Government’s cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs, overturned previous decisions by Powys County Council's planning committee and planning inspectors to reject the windfarm.
By Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter