Campaigners win court victory in fight to preserve view from Dylan Thomas Boathouse
A campaign backed by the granddaughter of Dylan Thomas, Hannah Ellis, has won a high court victory to preserve the view from the poet’s famous Boathouse home in Laugharne – the seaside town where Thomas based his radio play Under Milk Wood.
A report in the Guardian says that Carmarthenshire county council had approved plans for a 147ft wind turbine opposite the early 19th century boathouse, where Thomas worked in the Writing Shed looking across the Taf estuary. ‘Poem on his Birthday’ is said to have been inspired by the wildlife of the area: “In his house on stilts high among beaks / And palavers of birds / … Under and round him go / Flounders, gulls, on their cold, dying trails”.
A judicial review in Cardiff heard that councillors had not visited the Boathouse before giving the project the green light. The council claimed that the turbine, which was to be sited just over a mile away from the Writing Shed, would be painted “off-white” to blend in with the sky.
But the judge, Andrew Gilbart QC, said it was impossible to suggest it would not cause a significant impact on the landscape, and found in favour of the campaigners. The council can appeal and is considering whether it will.
National Trust Wales had said the plans “would destroy an iconic view that had survived untouched for generations”. Thomas’s granddaughter had said of the plans: “To imagine a wind turbine there is very upsetting. From a personal point of view I scattered mum’s ashes at the Boathouse. We put a bench there, we sit there and it’s my peaceful time.” The house is now a tearoom and art gallery attracting thousands of visitors every year. More details