On April 2nd, notices were posted on Stonewall Hill announcing a public consultation on Sir Simon Gourlay’s application to Herefordshire Council to discharge conditions attached to the consent for his proposed Reeves Hill Wind Farm. The deadline for consultation is Thursday 23rd April. This leaves Herefordshire Council one day to consider consultation responses and issue their approval – if they see fit.
Gourlay has written to Powys that he intends to make a ‘technical start’ on the development before his consent runs out on Saturday 25 April. The new application to discharge conditions says that construction will begin in mid-April. This is before the application will be decided.
The relevant documents can be found by clicking here. A careful reading shows that the application is seriously flawed. At this stage we do not need a massive and general public response to the application. However, we would urge any SHCG supporters with knowledge of Ecology and Hydrology, to submit detailed critiques of the Surface and Ground Water Management Plan, the Private Water Supply Protection Plan, the Ecological Mitigation Statement, and the Ecological Management and Monitoring Plan. You may have professional friends who could help you with this.
Please address your responses to Mark Tansley, Case Officer by email to or by post to Planning Services, PO Box 230, Hereford HR1 2ZB.
These are some of the important points that SHCG has found:
* The Ecological Management Statement says Phase 1 construction will begin in mid-April. This will be without permitted Access from Powys (won’t happen before 28.04.15 – if then) and no permission for the discharge of the Herefordshire conditions (can’t happen before 24.04.15).
* Only one of 6 crucial plans for the construction of site accesses and hydrology mitigation measures is included in the application so no-one knows what is going to be constructed, apparently starting week of 13th April.
* The developer has no proper permission to start construction. Herefordshire’s section 73 permission to adapt the site entrances so they would conform to Powys requirements (Non-Technical Summary point 5) was revoked by Herefordshire Council.
* The travel plan envisages all traffic coming directly up Llanshay Lane from the A 4113, instead of via the new private haulage road.
* The ecological surveys are mostly 8 years out of date and are not valid for base-line data.
* Phase 1 construction will not be preceded by base-line surveys for protected species, such as nesting birds and bats. SHCG believes this is unlawful and will result in distorted base-line data affecting protected natural species populations in Herefordshire and Powys
* There is no evidence that an ecological clerk of works has been appointed to oversee Phase 1 construction.
* No formal ground investigation has been done to inform mitigation of ground water and surface-water run-off and there is no assessment of impact on watercourses.
* The Private Water Supplies Protection Plan does not follow the recommendations of the Environment Agency and the previous undertaking by the Developer to investigate the depth of the aquifer by observing boreholes during the autumn through to spring prior to construction.
* There is not enough time (one day!) for Herefordshire to duly consider responses to this complex application before issuing permission under delegated powers.
SHCG needs to raise £10,000 for this final stage of our effort to stop Reeves Hill Wind Farm.
All our hard work is voluntary and all day-to-day expenses are met from SHCG supporters’ own pockets. Funds will be spent exclusively on legal and planning consultancy costs.
Please help us if you can. Every contribution counts.
There are several ways you can make a donation:
* Donate cash/cheque/online directly into the SHCG Appeal Fund bank account. Lloyds Bank: account no: 00489906; sort code 30 94 14
* Use PayPal on the SHCG website at shcg.co.uk
* Send your donation to our treasurer Andrew Knight, The Nook, Myndd Road, Norton, Powys LD8 2EN. Please make cheques payable to SHCG Appeal Fund.