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Plans for solar array near Rhayader given green light

PLANS for a solar array to be built just off the A470 trunk road outside Rhayader have been given the green light by Powys County Council’s Planning committee.

At their meeting on Thursday, January 12 councillors discussed the solar array application by Tony Davies of Henfron Farm, Rhayader.

The solar array and associated works at Cae Henfron would be made up 80 solar panels and produce 30 kilowatts of electricity.

This would be used to power a nearby building which contains an office and stores farm equipment.

Documents supporting the application said that surplus electricity would be “exported” to the National Grid to supply the local community with renewable energy.”

Mr Davies is the husband of Cllr Angela Davies – which is why the application was in front of the Planning committee for a decision.

Cllr Davies is also a member of the committee, and having declared an interest in the application left the meeting for the duration of the discussion.

Planning officer Emma Jones advised councillors to approve the application.

Cllr Les George said: “I’m very much in favour of these clean energy producing schemes and I don’t think it’s going to be detrimental to anybody else.

“I would like to go with officers recommendations and propose we pass the scheme.”

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Cllr Elwyn Vaughan seconded the motion.

Planning committee solicitor Colin Edwards said: “As this is an application closely associated with an elected member, under the protocol I can confirm that the planning application has been processed normally.”

Committee chairman, Cllr Karl Lewis asked whether the application would have been decided normally by planning officers under delegated powers if a councillor didn’t have an interest in it.

Mr Edwards said: “Yes, unless it had been called in by a local member.”

Councillors unanimously approved the application.