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Wind transport row blows on

Created on 30/08/2016 @ 07:46
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As the big convoys continue to trundle through the Welshpool area to a new wind farm west of Welshpool almost daily, a new row has broken out regarding the next transport plan starting in mid-September for another wind farm beyond Newtown.

For the past month, the convoys have passed through largely trouble-free with developers working with the local authorities and police to ensure safe passage.

But on the same day a reader captured the chaos caused by one lorry on its way back allegedly stopping for chips in Llanfair Caereinion (pictured), Russell George AM said that he has called for clarity over who was responsible for setting the transportation conditions for the Garreg Lwyd Hill wind farm which will start its convoys in two weeks.

Mr George stated that Powys County Council has said that the Garreg Lwyd Hill wind farm development was determined at appeal by Welsh Ministers who approved the application with conditions.

He added that it has been claimed that the Welsh Government failed to place conditions on the developers to survey properties along the transport route in spite of residents’ concerns that the abnormal vehicles would cause damage to houses which are along the A483.

Welsh Government guidance requires all major wind energy planning applications to be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment, which should also consider traffic and access issues incorporated in a Traffic Management Plan.

Russell George, AM for Montgomeryshire, has written to the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment & Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, to seek urgent clarity before the full turbine delivery programme begins on September 12.

Mr George, who has been a long-standing critic of the Garreg Lwyd development on transportation grounds, said: “On the one hand, the Welsh Government has confirmed in writing that conditions have been attached to a number of wind farm applications in the area which require developers to complete conditional surveys of the entire trunk road delivery route, which includes neighbouring properties which may be of concern.

“However, in spite of this, Powys County Council have confirmed that Welsh Ministers have failed to impose explicit conditions on the developers to survey properties along the proposed route of the Garreg Lwyd Hill wind farm. I therefore question why similar conditions haven’t been imposed on this development.”

“The Welsh Government say that Powys County Council are the relevant planning authority which should advise on such provisions but Powys County Council rightly say that, as it was the Welsh Government who determined the appeal, it is the Welsh Government’s responsibility with regards to this particular application and they have no authorisation to request that the developers carry out such work."

Penny Vingoe, a local resident, added: “I am particularly concerned about the safety of my property when the turbines start coming through as my property is two metres from the A483 and is around 150 years old. I had already read some time ago that a route through Montgomery was rejected because properties without foundations (like mine) would be at risk.

“I have contacted the developers (RES); have written to the County Council and to the Welsh Government, none of whom have given me any reassurance that my concerns are being addressed.

“Powys County Council are stating it is the Welsh Government's responsibility, and the Welsh Government are telling me I should contact Powys County Council.”

“No one will have addressed the issue until it is too late. Meanwhile my property and many others could well be damaged with no recourse to those who are responsible.”

Meanwhile in Llanfair Caereinion, resident Ian Gomm, who alerted us to the problems a few weeks ago caused by the HGVs stopping in the town for food on their way back from the Cefn Coch development, has captured the chaos caused over Bank Holiday weekend on camera (right).

“It was parked on the wrong side of the road on double yellow lines and also managed to cause traffic chaos in the town and also completely blocked the road up to Llanfair Medical Centre,” he claimed. "Their abnormal load escort vehicle also blocked the Llanfair back road by the Spar to allow this to take place.”


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