On the 1st July 2014 the Bowdler Farm single turbine appeal was dismissed.  SHCG is delighted by this decision, the result of committed work by our many supporters.

Planning Inspector Kay Sheffield has dismissed Knighton Councillor Chris Bevan’s appeal for a 79m single turbine at Bowdler Farm on Llan Wen Hill near Knighton. The application was determined at a Public Hearing on 14th May by the Welsh Planning Inspectorate because the applicant had appealed against Powys Planning Department’s failure to determine the application within 8 weeks.

In summing up her decision, Ms Sheffield said “I therefore conclude that the proposed development would have an unacceptably harmful effect on landscape character and visual amenity, contrary to Policy E3 of the UDP which seeks to ensure that the development would not unacceptably adversely affect the environmental and landscape quality of Powys, either on an individual basis or in combination with other proposed or similar developments”.

Ms Sheffield’s decision focussed on landscape and visual amenity.  Regarding landscape, she noted its “intrinsically attractive character” and concluded that a high turbine on an exposed skyline “would appear unduly dominant and unacceptably adversely affect the landscape quality of the area, contrary to Policies GP1, ENV2 and E3 of the UDP”. Ms Sheffield was particularly concerned with the turbine’s effects on visual amenity. Here she expressed concern over the effects on the occupants of neighbouring Mount Farm and Mount Flirt Barn, on Norton’s Grade II listed Old Vicarage with its bed & breakfast accommodation, and on the many walkers, cyclists, horse-riders, motorists, tourists and local people who enjoy the amenities of neighbouring sections of Offa’s Dyke National Trail, and the network of footpaths, bridleways, cycleways and minor roads on and around Llan Wen Hill and Stonewall Hill.

Finally she noted that, although the Reeves Hill wind farm might never go ahead, the Bowdler farm turbine would have significant cumulative effects were it ever to do so.

SHCG would like to thank all its supporters for giving up their time and their money to fight this proposal. The many supporters who attended the hearing witnessed our landscape consultant, Mark Steele, playing a leading role in defending the local landscape. The value of his professional report and comments at the hearing are evident in the final decision.

Ms Sheffield’s decision represents an important victory in our struggle to preserve the unspoiled landscape of this special part of the Welsh Marches. Alongside Mr. Nixon’s decision regarding Pentre Tump, it also has important implications for our fight against Reeves Hill Wind Farm.

We have won a battle and we mean to win the 20-year war to save Stonewall Hill.