Key parts of upland Powys are already designated under Welsh Government policy as Strategic Search Areas for wind power. In 2016, the County Council launched its Local Development Plan (LDP) defining two additional extensive sets of upland Local Search Areas (LSAs) in which large wind turbine farms and extensive solar panels arrays would each be given policy support. The plan could have turned 40% of Powys into a sea of whirling blades and glistening solar panels.
It was clear that this simply must not happen. Further extensive wind and solar development in the heart of Wales would destroy landscape character and imperil local tourism.
The two Powys branches of CPRW quickly organised a coordinated campaign. With the help of our supporters and input from Head Office we coordinated the response, attended meetings, gave expert evidence to the Public Inquiry and even appointed a barrister to help halt the LDP proposals.
Our hard work over more than two years paid off in the most contentious area. Powys Council withdrew its windpower target and the wind LSA's. However, the solar SSA's remained and the technical basis on which they were defined was patently flawed.
The LDP Inspector's Report accepted the Council's LDP as "sound", was approved by the Welsh Government, and was endorsed by the Council in April 2018. To date, thanks to our supporters, the Powys uplands are safe from further large scale wind farm - but the threat of solar-clad hillsides remains.
What’s happening in your area?
With 13 CPRW branches across Wales, there’s bound to be something exciting in your area to get involved with. Our branches organise local events, campaign against insensitive planning and fundraise for our wider work. Join your closest branch to support your local community and defend your unique landscapes.