I am committed to persuading Powys County Council that to progress the bridleways through Llandinam Wind Farm is unsafe. The Wind Farm is situated at about 1,500 ft. and consists of 103 x 45 metre high wind turbines through which equestrians must thread their way to travel in either a northerly or southerly direction.
I first became aware of the problem about 3 years ago following my relocation to Llandinam. I ride a quiet mare but she totally lost her nerve when faced with the noise and visual effects of these machines. This unpleasant experience persuaded me to investigate how such a complex industrial site could be located in a remote upland area through which vulnerable equestrians have a legal right of enjoyable passage.
I find it quite extraordinary that Powys County Council, which is the Planning, Highways and Environmental Health Authority for this bridleway, deny they have any responsibility for the problems encountered by equestrians arising from the installation of these wind turbines. I have warned the Council that a serious accident is waiting to happen but to date, they appear impervious to the danger. The fact that Powys County Council is, at the same time, both the Planning and Highway Authority, leads one to suspect they have a serious conflict of interest.
This Powys Bridleways website has been created as a single issue forum in order to pursue equestrian rights pursuant to
130 (1) of the 1980 Highways Act:-
It is the duty of the highway authority to assert and protect the rights of the public to the use and enjoyment of any highway for which they are the highway authority, including any roadside waste which forms part of it.
I first wrote to Powys County Council in October 2002 and drew their attention to the infringement of the 1980 Act. At that time I was advised by a Rights of Way Officer “to use discretion” i.e. to ride when the wind was not blowing! Furthermore they understood that “some horses were more sensitive than others”. A Senior Rights of Way Officer conceded that there was a problem with the noise and visual effect of these turbines.
The installation of this wind farm contravenes the recommendations set out by:-
The British Horse Society
The Society recommends a safety distance of 200 metres between turbines and bridleways
The Countryside Council for Wales
This Council recommends that wind turbine developments do not create dangers for users of Public Rights of Way and Bridleways.
The Countryside Agency
The Rights of Way Committee consider the minimum distance for siting turbines near to bridleways should be a minimum of 3 x the height of the turbine to the blade tip.
The National Assembly, Planning Inspectorate
This National Assembly advised Powys County Council in May 2003 that if the proximity of a turbine, to a Route where the public has access, were likely to cause any problems, particularly regarding safety, then we would not expect that turbine to be granted planning permission.
Powys County Council’s policy E3 Wind Power
Paragragh 5, says that wind farms will be permitted where they do not compromise the enjoyment and safe use of highways and the public rights of way network especially bridleways.
Powys County Council European Unit Document 6.10.5
The Rural Rights of Way Network is a historic resource which allows for the quiet enjoyment of the countryside on foot, horseback or pedal cycle.
Powys County Council – Countryside Services Manager
Stuart Mackintosh writing in “Powys on Horseback” urges riders to act in a careful and responsible manner and for cyclists to be aware that horses are often alarmed by the sudden appearance of mountain bikes on bridleways. He makes no comment about 45 metre high wind turbines which cause noise, shadow and flicker. In the Council’s view, these turbines do not represent a nuisance or an obstruction!
Council’s planning decision, February 1992
“The Applicant, as a matter of policy, have not sited their turbines closer than 80 metres to a bridleway in order to minimise disturbance to horses (particularly during start-up).” The Author has been unable to find the basis of this policy, especially as one of the turbines is only 31.5 metres away from the bridleway.
Powys County Council
In a recent letter to me they stated “the fact is that these wind turbines have planning permission to be sited where they are, and users of nearby bridleways need to have regard to their presence and any potential effect that they might have on horses, which they might be riding or leading. It is not for the Council to offer any guarantee or confirmation that these wind turbines do not pose any sort of risk to persons using these Rights of Way. ” This statement was made by Mr. C.J. Taylor, Head of Public Protection and Well-being.