The two Town Councils representing the areas most affected by the proposed Reeves Hill Wind Farm have both voted against the Developer’s application for access through Powys. On 27 August Presteigne & Norton Town Council voted to re-affirm their previous opposition to the turbines by opposing Bolsterstone PLC’s application P/2012/0573 to Powys Council to build an access track connecting the A4113 to Llanshay Lane and to construct 14 so-called ‘passing places’ and various other ‘improvements’ between there and the proposed four 106m tall turbines on Stonewall Hill. On 01 October, Knighton Town Council also voted in the same direction, reaffirming their previous vote against the same application.
Over the past months, would be Reeves Hill Wind Farm Developer Sir Simon Gourlay has been writing letters to Powys Planning Committee and Powys Councillors urging them to vote in favour of the access tracks and roadworks that would allow him to build his wind farm. Alongside factual errors and irrelevant information about how Gourlay chooses to spend his income, one of his letters appears to be misleading.
Gourlay’s ‘Open letter to the members of Knighton Town Council’ refers to a bond that is to be lodged with Herefordshire Council to enable the dismantling of the turbines or the re-engineering of the site after 25 years. No such bond is mentioned in any document in the public domain.
Then there is the letter from the Developer’s agent Michael Phillips of Dulas to Matthew Griffiths dated 11 September 2012 on the Powys Planning Portal.
Phillips’ letter suggests that opponents have missed the point because ‘93%’ of their letters of opposition focus on the wind farm whilst application P/2012/0573 is for an access track. SHCG’s survey of objection letters suggests the true figure for those focussing on the turbines alone is about 30%. But Phillips’ unlikely figure of 93% seems oddly familiar – doesn’t it come from the 93% of Norton Parish that voted against both wind farm and access?
Ironically enough, Phillips’ jibe turns back upon himself. Gourlay’s letters to Councillors, along with those of virtually all of his supporters, focus on the (debatable) merits of wind turbines as a panacea for the problems of climate change. Climate change and energy production have nothing to do with road construction in Powys – but road construction will certainly add to CO2 emissions.