The Cardiff Court has agreed to SHCG Chairman Stephen Hugh-Jones’ request to be considered as an Interested Party in Bolstertsone’s action against the Welsh Assembly Government. Bolsterstone, the developer of Reeves Hill Wind Farm, has applied to Powys for permission to construct the road access to the four turbines, which are in Herefordshire, only 105m from the Powys border.
SHCG argued that an Environmental Impact Assessment should accompany this application and the decision should be based on the negative impact on Powys of the wind farm as well as the road construction. Powys Planning Department asked the Welsh Assembly Government to rule on whether the application needed an EIA. WAG said that Powys should consider the impact of the access and the wind turbines as a single project, and also said that an EIA is required, on the grounds that the impact on Grade 1 listed Stanage Park in Powys was not properly considered.
Bolsterone does not want Powys to have the right to consider the impact of the turbines on Powys. They say that Herefordshire has already considered this when approving RHWF. They asked for permission to challenge the WAG decision by Judicial Review and this was granted. In his permission, the judge mentioned the strength of the defence argument and the public interest of the case. Various consultees, including CADW and CPRE, and Powys Council objected to Herefordshire Council that Stanage had not been properly considered, but Herefordshire Planners ignored this advice and also refused to let Powys Head of Planning speak at the decision meeting. This history has been explained in Stephen’s detailed witness statement.
The JR hearing will take place at the Cardiff Court on 16 December. The proceedings are open to the public and we will keep you updated.