Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hope for Onshore Wind Sanity.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that I am implacably opposed to the Mid Wales Connection Project. Despite a wish to stop 'banging on' about the same issue, I keep stumbling on interesting things to report. At least it stops me 'banging on' about Europe I suppose!!
Anyway there are two dev'ts worth reporting on. Firstly some encouraging news. In a letter to my close colleague, Chris Heaton Harris MP. the Rt Hon Eric Pickles, Sec. of State with reposibility for planning wrote;

"I note your concerns about the impact of wind turbines. The National Planning Policy Framework, published last year makes clear that the adverse impact of renewable energy developments, including cumulative landscape and visual impact should be addressed satisfactorily. Applications for wind farms should only be approved if they are, or can be made acceptable".

New planning guidelines are expected by the summer. I knew they were coming and had hoped they would be published already. What I'm expecting, and desperately hoping, for is 'guidance' that stops well argued local objection being 'trumped' by national policy - completely dismissing the local voice. We need it now. But perhaps there is hope after all.

The second item it very disturbing - shocking even. Earlier this week, I tweeted that bailiffs acting for National Grid in Montgomeryshire had delivered a notice of forced access, and when challenged for ID, had told my constituent to "Fu** Off" - upsetting his wife in the process. Now another constituent has emailed me to tell me of other similar incidents, including seriously upsetting his 86yr old female neighbour. She has now been advised to cooperate for her own welfare by my constituent. And there have been other examples of similar activity as well. I have advised him to go public tomorrow on this. His name is Digby Davies, and he lives in Llansanffraid. I believe he will. This shameful behaviour, done on behalf of National Grid, and within arrangements approved by Gov't is scarcely believable. But when it comes to forcing onshore wind onto reluctant communities its been a case of anything goes. Its important that people know what is being done on their behalf.


Anonymous said...

the last sentence is typical of planning prevarication terms. Who quite is to judge what is acceptable or can be made acceptable? In planning terms this means an inspector from Bristol, will follow planning guidance laws which states that these schemes are acceptable. I am afraid this is a fob off Glyn. Until such times as proper set back limits are established these applications will continue to ride rough shod over communities. There simply is no such thing as localism.

Glyn Davies said...

Val - This post is not about any formal Gov't statement - its just a 'hopeful' letter. It signifies a change in attitude to me. If such wording were included in official 'guidance' it would make a difference. Of course Inspectors can take their own view on things and make mistakes - but so often objectors have won every argument only to be 'trumped' by national policy. This is what we want to stop. Ending the wind farm madness is too ambitious at this stage. It will still be a few years until the scales fall from the eyes.

Anonymous said...

One thing I don't understand is the protesters want the mid wales grid connection to be a part of the upcoming wind farm inquiry, yet they are the ones who were telling land owners to delay national grid from doing surveys on their land.
How can something be part of an inquiry when there are no plans drawn up?
National grid had asked for landowners to come forward voluntary before issuing legal notices.
Fingers crossed that the land is unsuitable for pylons and at the very best, undergrounding is better suited.
Another grievance about the protesters is that they mobbed the information events held by national grid to prevent people finding out the correct information.
The whole issue has been badly handled and I am sick of reading about it and to think we've got at least two or three more years of this before any decision is due on the mid wales connection project.

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - If the inspector had accepted that the 400kV connection should be decided at the same time as the wind farms, most of the land owners would have cooperated. But he didn't. He is determined to go down the ridiculous path of considering the wind farms which have no means of taking out the power. Liek considering a planning application for a house with no access to it except by helicopter! National Grid had indeed asked landowners to come forward - but why the hell should they. Like asking turkeys to 'come forward' at Xmas. I'm also "sick of hearing about it" and would like to see the back of the whole misguided enterprise.

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