Campaigners have vowed to fight on after a council approved an application to build a wind farm at a Welsh beauty spot.
Carmarthenshire County Council gave the green light to plans to erect 16 wind turbines on Mynydd y Betws (Betws Mountain), near Ammanford in south Wales. However, the Open Spaces Society (OSS) says the development needs the consent of the Welsh Assembly because the site is common land.
Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society
OSS general secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “The turbines will be a hideous eyesore on this beautiful mountain. It is an area of immense scenic beauty with terrific views, where people may walk undisturbed. All this would be destroyed if the turbines are built here.
“There were numerous objections to the application, but the councillors appear to have ignored them.”
Ms Ashbrook says it will be hard for the developers, Cardiff-based Eco2, to demonstrate the required benefit to the neighbourhood in the face of so many local objectors.
The society is also fighting plans by a company acting for the Ministry of Defence, which wants to build a hut as a control centre for its range at Baggator, near Lydford in Devon. The site is near the Lich Way, an ancient corpse road.
The application, due to be heard by Dartmoor National Park Authority last Friday, would allow the enlargement of the existing hut despite there being only five years left on the MoD’s licence to use the site for live firing. The OSS is joined in its opposition to the new hut by the Council for National Parks and the Dartmoor Preservation Association.
Meanwhile, an OSS member has won a victory over Hampshire County Council after seven years’ struggle to get two footpaths designated rights of way.
Diane Andrewes applied to the Environment Secretary to have paths next to the Jolly Sailor pub and the River Hamble in Bursledon added to the definitive maps, after the council said there was not enough evidence to show they had been used ass rights of way for 20 years.
The Secretary of State has now ordered Hampshire Council to mark them as public footpaths on the official maps. Kate Ashbrook said: “Thanks to Diane’s persistence in appealing to the Secretary of State, Hampshire County Council must now make the order to add the paths to the map.
“If there is opposition there will be a public inquiry, but we are confident that Diane has strong evidence of use and that these routes should be recorded, and treated, as public highways – just like any road.
“It’s a pity Hampshire County Council did not consider the evidence strong enough in the first place and make the order voluntarily, without being directed to do so by the Secretary of State. It’s also a pity that it took seven years to decide to do nothing, despite its legal duty to determine claims to add paths to the map.”