Wales

Hendy Wind farm given green light despite rejection, minister says

Countryside near Llandrindod Wells Image copyright Photo: Diana Hulton
Image caption Conservationists claimed the planned turbines would destroy the view from Llandegley Rocks

A wind farm project rejected by Powys councillors can go ahead, the Welsh Labour Government has ruled.

Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths said the benefits of a seven-turbine farm at Hendy, near Llandrindod Wells, outweighed negative possible impacts.

She said she disagreed with an inspector's report backing the refusal.

Powys council said it would "be looking at her decision with interest and its implications".

Njord Energy put forward the idea for a wind farm generating enough power for 10,000 homes at Hendy, between Penybont and Llandegley, in 2014, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But Powys councillors rejected it in April 2017 amid objections about the visual impact in a beauty spot, and the threat to a protected public right of way.

Following an appeal by the company, Ms Griffiths said she was satisfied the planning inspector had "considered the relevant issues in full" but added: "I do not agree with the conclusion".

In a letter to the company, she said: "Wind energy is a key part of the Welsh Government's vision for future renewable electricity production.

"This should be taken into account by decision makers when determining such applications."

The Labour minister said she considered "the benefits of the proposal in terms of delivering renewable energy are material considerations which are sufficient to outweigh the identified impacts of the scheme on landscape and visual amenity".

"The balance, therefore weighs in favour of the appeal."

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