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Cadw believes a proposed wind farm in Herefordshire would spoil the view from an historic parkland – in Wales! Accordingly, the widening of the only possible access road to the development – which also happens to be in Wales – will depend on an environmental impact assessment and it seems that will conclude that the wind farm will have “an adverse visual impact” on Stanage Park, ergo the road won’t be widened, ergo the wind farm won’t be built. It would be quite a contrast to what has happened back in Cadw’s own back yard (at Mynydd y Betws) where they’ve just seen a massive view-spoiling wind farm built. A pro-wind farm Herefordshire local was heard to murmur: “they be taking the heritage biscuit. Is it ‘cos we’m English?”


Certainly no-one could accuse the planning system as it operates with respect to wind farms of being entirely consistent and a Planning Inspector dealing with an Appeal at Beechbarrow Farm near Wells has recently added to the difficulty (so far as our reading of his words goes anyway). How do you interpret this, dear reader:

the wind turbine proposed would be visible from the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the boundary of which is relatively close to the appeal site. However, I do not equate visibility from the AONB with harm to its landscape and scenic beauty.

Is that just in the particular case or generally? Is he really saying that a development that’s not within an AONB cannot do harm to it? And is that consistent with the Herefordshire/Cadw case? It’s hard to fathom, but surely the whole essence of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is that it has visual merit – which can be harmed by visible developments?


May 2013

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