The permission for Reeves Hill Wind Farm, granted by Herefordshire Council in 2012, expires on 25 April 2015. The conditions make clear that permitted WF development in Herefordshire can only begin when all access through Powys has been completed.
Powys have still not announced the date of the planning meeting to determine access (application P/2012/0573). The developers have no prospect of completing access before their permission from Herefordshire expires.
To get round this, the RHWF landowners applied to Herefordshire Council (letter of 18 December 2014) to make ‘non-material amendments’ to the RHWF planning permission (application DCNW2008/1289/F). The application has only just been published on the Herefordshire planning website. These amendments involve changes to the wording of six separate conditions so that they can begin work straight away on parts of the development (other than turbine foundations) before access is completed. This would mean permission is activated so won’t run out. Theoretically, they could even build the substation without any guarantee they could ever put up the turbines!
We do not think that amendments with such far-reaching consequences can legitimately be called “non-material”.
For their part, Herefordshire Council have announced that they are “not accepting comments for this planning application”, thus depriving the public of their democratic right to comment on changes in conditions which have a significant impact on their interests.