Guest Post by Hendy wind farm protesters


Jac has written about the Hendy and Bryn Blaen wind farms fiasco previously in Corruption in the wind and updates (here and here).

Since November last year Powys residents have been living an Alice in Wonderland adventure, though now we have perhaps moved on from Lewis Carroll to Franz Kafka.

To set the scene: planning regulations require construction in accordance with the permission granted. That means one should develop according to approved plans, within the red line boundary and abide by any conditions attached to the permission. If this is not followed development is unlawful and potentially the developer could lose their permission. At Hendy wind farm the developer also needs separate common land permissions for his access across Llandegley Rhos to the wind farm site. A planning authority can enforce against a breach of planning conditions, but only if it is expedient to do so. (Expedient: adjective meaning, “convenient and practical although possibly improper or immoral”.) That is in the real world; here we are in Powys, in Wales.

The developer is chasing a subsidy deadline of 31st January which apparently allows only one turbine erected out of seven to commission but it does not have to have a grid connection. So why bother with the niceties of regulations when pound signs beckon? Publicly Njord Energy Ltd or Hendy Wind Farm Ltd, anyway, Steven Radford, maintains he is not being unlawful and he’s a responsible developer and that those nasty local residents are victimising him.

Before the last of the discharge of conditions applications was submitted the developer had made a construction compound outside of the red line boundary. The public complained to Powys Development Management.

Next an access track appeared, still outside of the permitted development. The public complained to Powys Development Management and pointed out how their own department had relentlessly pursued enforcement of an adjacent landowner for over five years, even taking him to court. We received an email from the planning officer, it was fine, the developer had told them this was permitted development so Powys could not enforce, although a breach of conditions case was opened.

The developer “re-stoned” the track across the common. It rained and it rained but turbine foundation works progressed apace. The public complained to Powys Development Management. The public complained to Natural Resources Wales. Lots of round straw bales appeared in ditches and streams to catch sediment. Sheep on the common land could not believe their luck, graziers are not allowed to feed them on the common. Meanwhile the track across the common, widened by heavy use of lorries, turned to mud. A culvert collapsed. Natural Resources Wales made the developer repair it.

Feasting sheep, click to enlarge

Meanwhile, Powys had sought counsel’s advice which is: there needs to be evidence of environmental harm otherwise it is not expedient to enforce.

Concrete pouring was imminent. The concrete would be irreversible damage to land at the headwaters of a river that is part of the River Wye SAC. Brecon and Radnor CPRW decided to apply for an injunction. A temporary injunction was granted until a court hearing three days later. The developer sent a letter to court stating that they believed that they had done nothing unlawful. The development was predicated on the subsidies and if they failed to commission by the deadline, they would have to apply for bigger wind turbines. Also, concrete pour must be completed by 4th January to allow for erection and commissioning of the wind turbine.

Letter from Hendy Wind Farm Ltd solicitor to CPRW solicitor. Click to enlarge.

At the court hearing Justice Garnham agreed that concreting the foundation was irreversible nevertheless he asked what the cut-off date for concrete pour would be to get subsidy. Then, with miraculous timing, an email from NRW was sent to court stating the concrete pour would be okay as long as it followed the methodology submitted. That was the end of any injunction.

Concrete pour day, the 3rd of January, arrived and Powys residents turned out to meet and greet the mixer lorries whilst exercising their Open Access rights on the common track. The police and extra security drafted in to deal with the rabble found them a real handful. For goodness sake, they also exercised their right to use the bridleway which crosses the track on the common.

‘She’s a real handful – will four of us be enough?’ (Click to enlarge)

It all got a bit boisterous and a tragedy was narrowly averted when one lady ended up on the ground and if she had not been quick would have gone under the wheels of a lorry. The video, which was uploaded to YouTube, shows the lorry slowing then speeding away, yet Steven Radford when recently challenged by the local AM, Kirsty Williams, claimed the lorry stopped. Should’ve gone to Specsavers. This riotous assembly caused such a delay that a second meet and greet the mixer lorries had to take place on 8th January. Luckily, because NRW had okayed the concrete pour it was still not expedient to enforce.

What of Hendy Wind Farm’s letter to court stating that concreting must be completed by 4th January in order to allow the “cure” before erection and commissioning of the lonely wind turbine? Was that an honest misunderstanding of civil engineering technicalities?

After all that excitement a few days of gentle activity around the turbine base getting it all landscaped and ready for the turbine components lulled us all before the surprise appearance of abnormal load access plan “version 4” on 17th January. Why wait for daylight to arrive when you can work in the dark beside the A44? By the end of day hedges had been removed, trees felled, soil moved and a new track onto the common was almost made. Extraordinary that this just happened to be the same day as planning officers were at the monthly planning meeting. Please, do not be worried about these latest works because a workman on site told a community councillor it can be put back when they have finished.

Removed hedge, click to enlarge

Having made a site visit planning officers are pondering the expediency of enforcement for this new access because it has no planning permission, but if they can hang it out just a little longer the abnormal loads, temporary traffic restrictions for which seem to have been expedited, will be here after which it would not be expedient to enforce because all the damage has already been done.

click to enlarge

Anyway, why use enforcement when they can just ask the developer to apply for retrospective planning permission to rectify all the misdemeanours. It will then be expedient to approve any application because the council is too poor to go around the merry go round again.

You may be wondering where are the politicians and press in all of this? UK newspapers are apparently not interested in the scam a FTSE listed company is pulling, enabled by an extraordinarily lax accreditation loophole. The local press has kept the story alive and BBC Wales have done a couple of short news items including one about Bryn Blaen wind farm not producing any electricity since it was finished in early February 2018. Ofgem claims this wind farm is not accredited but they do have submissions for electricity export for Feb and March 2018. Has Bryn Blaen registered for accreditation but not yet received that in full because of grid connection problems? But they must have had a grid connection at the time of commissioning or else how did they manage to submit output for two months? Anyway, news is, there is a flurry of activity on the wind farm. Will it really be operational by 31st January as promised? There is that all important date again.

Labour politicians in the “Welsh Government” are all hiding behind Brecon and Radnor CPRW’s S288 challenge to Lesley Griffiths decision to approve the wind farm. Can they really not differentiate between a challenge to the permission and questions from local residents about lawful procedure of enforcement?

Previously Lesley Griffiths, Labour, could not say anything but Julie James, Labour, Minister for Housing and Local Government now has planning in her remit but cannot say anything. Did our new FM spot a conflict of interest in the fact that under Carwyn Jones the Minister for Energy also had the power to decide energy projects? Eluned Morgan, Labour, one of our regional AMs is of course now a minister so cannot say anything. Joyce Watson, Labour, a regional AM has remained eerily silent. Kirsty Williams, Lib, Minister for Education and Brecon and Radnor AM, can and has supported local residents. Neil Hamilton, UKIP, regional AM has been supportive but encountered the same Alice in Wonderland experience.

Our local politicians, not to be outdone, have also entered the rabbit hole. The leader of PCC, Rosemarie Harris, keeps quoting “expediency” whilst at the same time has asked WG for more money to help finance the monitoring of the fiasco they themselves have facilitated.

The local County Councillor, in whose ward the wind farm sits, was sponsored to become a CC by a landowner with an interest in the wind farm. Before being elected as a county councillor in 2017 he was not a politician but has had a meteoric rise to Cabinet being the portfolio holder for Economy and Planning. Under which conflict of interest have his occasional visits to the wind farm site been made?

What of the contractors, Jones Bros of Ruthin? A visit to their website does not enlighten on the Hendy or Bryn Blaen projects yet they tell us all about other wind farm projects they have been involved in. Why would a high profile contractor knowingly work on an unlawful development?

Saturday 19 January, crane for erecting turbine arrives. Click to enlarge

Then there are those stalwart Guardians of the Common; local residents out there in all weathers and sometimes in the dark. At first the protests were amicable then Dyfed Powys Police turned up saying that they were in possession of a sworn affidavit from the landowner of the common. Since then their attitude changed. A quick trip to Carmarthen headquarters the same day failed to locate the affidavit. An FOI submitted on 12th December to see the affidavit has resulted in a reply on 14th January to say they need more time to decide if they are even prepared to confirm or deny that the alleged affidavit actually exists. Some locals have already seen it!

As they say, follow the money.

♦ end ♦

Jac adds: I can understand perfectly the involvement of developers and investors in onshore wind turbines – money in the form of subsidies from the UK government.

I also understand the motivation of the UK government in giving such subsidies. On the one hand it’s a bit of ‘greenwash’ to keep environmentalists happy, and on the other hand it puts a lot of money the way of important people like David Cameron’s father-in-law, the Duke of Beaufort, FTSE-listed companies, etc.

But what I cannot understand is why any body or individual claiming to be serving Welsh interests would help these parasites desecrate our country. Lesley Griffiths, in allowing the Hendy scam to proceed, argued that it was ‘in the national interest’. But how does Wales benefit?

So obvious is the scam that – as we see with Bryn Blaen – it doesn’t matter whether the turbines turn or not, the subsidies keep rolling in! So we are paying for turbines that aren’t even generating anything!

And on the subject of paying . . . I assume the developers are paying for the heavies they’ve brought in to rough up old dears, but who’s paying for the police? I guess it’s us, again.

So let’s recap: The ‘Welsh Government’ is encouraging the desecration of our country with wind turbines that produce negligible amounts of electricity – sometimes none at all – and we have to pay for it, not only in the damage caused by thousands of tons of concrete, and access roads driven across pristine landscapes, but also in the deaths of birds and bats (when the turbines turn). Yet this is all justified in the name of ‘environmentalism’!

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we have to pay for the subsidies through our electricity bills and now we also have to pay for Welsh police to ensure that this con can be perpetrated.

One great irony is that the Labour Party has always been luke-warm to wind energy (certainly the more ‘traditional’ elements in the party), yet here it is bending over backwards to force these monstrosities on us. Somebody is obviously applying pressure on the management team down Cardiff docks.

Though one party that has had a decades-long love affair with these monsters is Plaid Cymru. It would be nice to report that the scales have finally fallen from their eyes and from now on Plaid will prioritise Welsh interests.

But I can’t.

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Oh – and don’t forget – we need “baseload” electricity (as fed into the National Grid when it was built and functioned properly) and NOT dribs and drabs of widely dispersed, intermittent electricity [especially not solar].
Did you know that one handy function of the much-vaunted, much-pushed “smart meters” is they enable Government to switch off unimportant areas to avoid bigger power cuts in future ?


What a mess !
Windfarms seem to attract comments … [ignore the ones from blinkered greenies] try asking a Fire Brigade if they have equipment capable of reaching high fires OR if they would go near one when the blades are turning free ? (elf ‘n safety)
Please forget the unfortunate souls killed in a windmill fire …
They are NOT “turbines” – that is a greenwash title like “windfarms”.
When they burn, the composites produce long-lasting mutagens and carcinogens (nobody clears them up) and allegedly Dioxins are also produced (never mind the grazing animals and the human food chain).

No response from Welsh Government to serious questions about Lesley Griffiths’ ‘contacts’.
Of for that matter “Why did she overrule experts when Wales is already exporting surplus energy to England?”

One thought. If a landowner ‘agrees’ to the use of his land for immovable huge concrete blocks and crane pads plus roadbuilding etc, – should they not pay back ALL previous subsidies granted in order to maintain said land ?


Now here’s a thing! I’m up and down the A44 every day and have not seen a blade turn yet! it’s rumoured that the poor people of Pen y Bont haven’t been able to boil a kettle or read at night for a week!
Let’s pray for wind or else it will have been a waste of time!


The Hendy and Bryn Blaen wind farms is a case example of how it is NOT done.

Here is an example of how it should be done.

Problem is the policy of the Welsh Government is to obstruct projects like Anafon and to push through projects like Hendy against the wishes of the local community.

Daley Gleephart

Income from Anafon Hydro is in the form of a Feed In Tariff (FIT).
Anyone thinking about a new project should note: –
‘UK to scrap Feed-in Tariff scheme in April 2019’ – Energy Live.


I’m afraid the Lib dems in wales do not speak truth to power but shy away from difficult situations. Her and her colleague back in time knew about the poor standards in Swansea social services before the death of aaron gilbert but never spoke out.
No surprises that she did not speak out on this project but a surprise she would vote in favour of a project previously rejected by councillors representing her own constituents [in open meetings] who were subsequently overruled by a “raj” appointed minster [behind closed doors].
Ein Gwlad has got to be an alternative to this bunch of wilting showers, or maybe more Neil McEvoys of any party. Amazing the number of AM’s who speak out on ishoos but not a peep about day to day concerns of ordinary folks.

Daley Gleephart

How do you make wind turbines popular?
Answer: Let the locals own them.
On Samsø, a Danish island, the people own the wind turbines and there are no complaints about noise and no complaints about visual impact.
100% of electricity on Samsø comes from wind power and biomass.
Netflix (subscription required) ‘Islands of the Future’ Series 1 Episode 4 Samsø.

Daley Gleephart

The biomass incinerator on the island of Samsø burns straw. After the corn harvesting, the farmers used to burn the straw in the open, but now it’s put to use. As the next crop of corn will take in CO2 from the air and use the carbon element to grow, it’s nearly a carbon neutral power source.
Council vehicles and postal delivery vans on Samsø are electric powered.

The Netflix series that I mentioned, Roy, is worth watching. See the episode about Iceland and note why Alcoa prefers Iceland to OneEyeLid.

I know that you love to be negative, Roy, but I see Samsø as an excellent example of how a community can get together and come up with a sustainable power supply, using local resources, that cuts carbon emissions dramatically.

Daley Gleephart

Yeah, Roy. Bloody Vikings, coming over here … You’ll show ’em.

Daley Gleephart

Yurr Utter Sveinns Aye

Daley Gleephart

Sveinn’s island.
It could be named after Sweyn Forkbeard, father of Cnut the Great.


The Victorian Brit-Myth that the Norse civilisation were just a nasty gang of rapists and pillagers has been debunked. There’s research taking place as to how the trading pattern of the Vikings flourished.

Isotope analysis of metallic artefacts of Viking hoards find that iron, lead, copper and gold originated from inland locations of South West Wales. It is unlikely that this was just ‘plunder’, so there must have been a sophisticated trading pattern. To trade by sea you need a mooring point, and also knowledge of navigational dangers.

We know that the coastal features all have Norse originating names that date back hundreds of years before Anglo-Norman arrivals (Sker Point, Worms Head) many have Welsh or Breton adaptations (Mumbles). There must have been a trading encampment, or a temporary customs market. It’s easy to get into Swansea Bay on the prevailing sou-westerly with square sail. But getting out is difficult as you need to use the ebb tide when the slacks appear on Scarweather (another Norse named navigation feature).

So where was the trading point of Swains Island (Swiansey)? It’s likely to have been be a timber wharf on the Tawe and the encampment of traders settled and adopted the name. Of course Swansea University is preoccupied with Womens Studies, Wellness bungs and property deals, so we may never know.

Daley Gleephart

“Of course Swansea University is preoccupied with Womens Studies”


Alcoa in Iceland is a very contraversial subject. To build the reservoir to get the head of water needed to generate sufficient electricity caused the loss of a lot of land that was a habitat for wildlife. This documentary is interesting to watch:

Daley Gleephart

Thank you.
The Netflix series ‘Islands of the Future’* episode about Iceland covers the environmental impact that results from further exploitation for industrial purposes.
* My posts 22/01/2019 AT 16:55 and 22/01/2019 AT 19:45.

Iceland was badly affected when their large investments in the Tiger Economies suffered during the 1997 meltdown. To make matters worse, Iceland was caught out again in the 2008 Wall Street crash.
It’s not easy when you’re a small country in a global market.


Request permission to get all Nordic and fluffy, Jac.

There was a recent ‘recycle war’ between Sweden and Denmark. So successful has Sweden been in waste recycling (1% landfill) that they have used EU trade rules to force Denmark to send them more domestic waste. It was settled by agreement so that Sweden would send them wood chips in exchange. There’s an ‘offset formula’ in CO2 emmissions.

Here’s how it worked in Sweden.

(a) All domestic recycling via two wheelie bins, green for direct recycling and black for central processing.
(b) Green takes paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, metals etc. Black takes the rest.
(c) All households are required to have a 1m*2m hardstanding for such bins curbside.
(d) Compulsory building regulation for all new build residential property to have the hardstanding.
(e) Retrofit existing private or rental residential property to have hardstanding by means of automatic planning refusals unless it’s present, a 1% duty at conveyancing on properties where it’s absent, and local autorities to hand over to the property title a designated hardstanding where appropriate on properties which front the highway.
(f) HMO licenses only available where multiple hardstandings exist.
(g) Recycled product exempt or refunded a notional value of VAT (Miljönär-vänlig).

Municiple variances.

(a) Further segmentation of the contents of green wheelie bin waste stream with bagging if required.
(b) Black bags are sent to further processing for extraction of compostable or combustibles.


National reprocessing centres have to be located at sites with good access to road and rail, a canal for barge shipment of bulk, existing brownfield, within reach of downstream metal processing plant (metal reprocessing) and a nearby CBT plant. I know of only one such site in Wales, and the locals still call it ‘Metal Box’ in Neath.

R. Tredwyn

More correspondents seem to be angered by the existence of wind farms than by the breaches of planning regulations and the law. Let’s keep the two things separate. Electricity has to come from somewhere. Last year for the first time a majority of UK generation on a few days came from renewables. That’s the future because we can’t keep emitting CO2 at the present rate. People in the valleys had to put up with slag heaps. People in Powys can put up with a few wind turbines. The promoters, though, ought to obey the law and pay a charge to local communities to share the benefit with people putting up with inconvenience


Your tweet about the Welsh Labour Government’s duplicity hits the nail on the head. These gangsters are openly planning to shift funds from agriculture to a whole host of “new” rural initiatives which are mostly run by ideologically driven or fad driven movements ( friends of Labour !) with little or no real aim other than lining their pockets before moving on to the next scam.

If Brexit causes a shortage of funds, and it will, then the flabby 3rd sector outfits and their shitty leadership teams need culling big time. No compensation payments or handouts because as we’re told so often they’re all non-governmental and free standing. Cut the cash and they fall over ever so quickly, and good riddance. A dramatically slimmed down sector might add value but we’re a long way away from that.


Well Dafis there is an election in the Ely area of Cardiff that has voted Labour for eighty years, has a Labour City Council and a Labour Government in Cardiff Bay. They have closed the local recycling center and preside over the resulting mess. There is a very good Plaid Cymru woman candidate standing and who has a good chance of winning if she gets enough help and support. This is a must win seat if Plaid Cymru is to win Cardiff West and boot the feeble tortoise like First Minister out at the next Senedd elections.


I noticed that Andrea Gibson is mentioned in McEvoy’s tweet. On my next visit I will start dropping her name as the person to shake things up. Local residents are not the problem. It’s down to an ineffective method of waste removal/collection and a small minority of scumbags passing through.


Turning to yet another persistent source of irritation and waste, your tweet column contains references to litter and fly tipping in Ely Cardiff and up on Cwm Cadlan between Taf and Cynon valleys.
I have visited a home at Ely recently, at Heol y Felin in the City Centre end, and the litter left all over the street is a disgrace. There are some good people there who are being subjected to loutish behaviour from a small number of scumbags and poor litter & rubbish collection by the binmen. Now I appreciate that much of the binmen’s problem is due to their allocated time for a collection does not take into account the poor materials issued to housholders like wafer thin bin bags which are often ripped apart by stray dogs and birds while awaiting collection. As for Cwm Cadlan well that’s down to scumbags from RCT and Merthyr, many of whom are known to officials, well paid wankers who turn a blind eye for a quiet life. They should earn their pay and clamp down on these wasters.


Once the wind turbine funding scam expires what will they turn to next ? Is it possibly that “re-wilding” caper which was reported on this blog late in 2018 and which gets the odd bit of positive coverage in the MSM courtesy of favoured apostles like Monbiot writing his garbage in the Guardian. Scam companies combined with 3rd sector outfits pretending to be delivering “social goods” and “community benefits” are at the vanguard of this assault working in tandem with an assortment of politicians, some just plain dull and others as bent as butchers’ hooks!


….. and after the rectification work is done the landowners, if well connected, will receive further grants for re-wilding or whatever further new initiatives that the manipulative colonialists and their chums have in mind for us.


Of course, the first re-wilding project was at the Yosemite National Park in the 19th century. When the area was discovered by the newly emerging California middle classes as a ‘tourist destination’. The ‘Wilderness Grant’ of 1864 resulted in the native inhabitants, some homesteaders, and the Ahwahneechee and Mariposa peoples were evicted to reservations, killed, or enlisted as ‘native curiosities’ in freak shows.

The result was that a balanced eco-system based on pastoral land usage let to ‘idyllic rewilding’ but at a cost of ‘environmental shift’. The forests became ‘old’ out-shading the new growth, the black bear population expanded out-competing other species, forcing some extinctions, non-native plants encroached without natural herbivores causing extinctions of some bird species, and wildfires devastated huge areas due to lack of grazing.

New ‘management plans’ have since been introduced, at taxpayers expense, to mimic the previous activity of the displaced population and more recently punitive access charges have been introduced to prevent tourism damage. It was the worlds first attempt at ‘re-wilding’. Genocode, followed by eco-system shift, followed by catastrophic damage, followed by periods of state sponsored land management schemes. All because the ‘Yosemite Grant’ ignored the native population that once inhabited the area.

Of course, the biggest environmental catastrophe of the Western States was the Hoover Dam (1930s) , creating Lake Mead, which devastated the whole Nevada, Arizona and southern California ecosystem. Alternatively, some people like to say ‘renewable energy’.

Those that ignore history are bound to repeat the same mistakes.


The saga with planning enforcement is a familiar story and replicated in other local authority areas in Wales. Planning enforcement is a discretionary power not a statutory duty. To avoid taking action officers can simply conclude that it is not “expedient” or in the wider public interest to take action. A complaint to the Ombudsman is usually a waste of time as he has no power to require a local authority to take enforcement action. From my experience, when a local authority enforcement investigation has been concluded the developer has completed the project and left site. Enforcement should be a statutory duty but I can not see the legislation being amended.

George T Harris

Brilliant piece of written work on the latest at Hendy. When are the politicians going to wake up to this ,be honest ,and represent the people who put them in post. When do locally elected representatives of the people begin to do their job!

Big Gee

When are the politicians going to wake up to this, be honest, and represent the people who put them in post

When Ein Gwlad comes into power.

People get the politicians (and their policies) that they voted for.


There are very few Welsh local politicians, from community to council level, who have the balls to ensure that developers do the right thing.

However, any local individual or group can prosecute their local authority and force it by law to take action. This is what the people in the locality of Hendy should be doing, even if it costs them money.