A joint public inquiry will be held into two applications for onshore windfarms in Powys, mid-Wales. These refer to applications made by Vattenfall for the Llanbadarn Fynydd scheme (59.5 MW), and RWE npower renewables for the Carnedd Wen scheme (130-250 MW), for development consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.
Under the section 36 process, if a relevant planning authority objects to an application, the Government is obliged to call a public inquiry. Powys County Council has objected to both the Llanbadarn Fynydd scheme and the Carnedd Wen scheme, triggering a public inquiry.
The Government has decided that evidence on the benefits and impacts of these proposals is best considered at a single inquiry for both schemes.
Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy, said:
“The County Council in Powys has maintained its objection to these two proposals for wind farms in mid-Wales.
“In these circumstances the legislation provides for a public inquiry at which all the evidence will be independently examined before Ministers make a final decision. It makes sense that these applications should be considered jointly, in order to ensure strategic consideration of the benefits and impacts.”
Although the details are still to be confirmed, it is expected that the Pre-Inquiry meeting will take place in Spring 2013, with the full inquiry to commence later next year.
There are a further four section 36 applications for onshore windfarms on which Powys County Council is due to respond to the Department of Energy and Climate Change by the end of September 2012. The Secretary of State will give consideration to the arrangements for any additional public inquiries, including whether to conjoin them with the Llanbadarn Fynydd and Carnedd Wen inquiry, after Powys County Council have responded to DECC on the remaining applications
Notes for Editors:
- The procedure to be followed at the inquiry into the two applications is governed by the Electricity Generating Stations and Overhead Lines (Inquiries Procedure) (England and Wales) Rules 2007 (“the Inquiry Rules”) available on the legislation website:
- The Welsh Government’s policy as set out in Technical Advice Note (TAN) 8 is for major (defined as over 25MW) wind farms to be located in Strategic Search Area’s (SSAs).
- There are currently a total of six applications for onshore windfarms >50MW with DECC, three located in SSA B and three located in SSA C in Powys. If Powys County Council object to one or more of the remaining section 36 applications, the Secretary of State will be obliged to hold a public inquiry into these applications.
- The consenting process for onshore generating stations, including onshore windfarms, above 50MW in England and Wales is available in the DECC publication library
- Further information on the Planning Inspectorate can be found on the planning portal website