More than 300 people packed into the biggest public meeting yet staged in Shropshire to fight controversial plans by National Grid for a 30-mile-long power line across the region.
And newly-promoted Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told campaigners they could win the battle in Shropshire by winning the fight against windfarms in Mid Wales.
Last night’s meeting in Oswestry, called by Shropshire Council leader Keith Barrow and attended by MPs and councillors from throughout the region, was told support was growing all the time against the National Grid plans.
The power giant wants the 400,000-volt line to run from a new sub-station at Cefn Coch, near Llanfair Caereinion, to Lower Frankton, near Oswestry. It would transfer power from Mid Wales windfarms to the national electricity network in Shropshire.
It will announce next year which parts of the power line will be buried underground and which will be carried overhead on pylons.
But Mr Paterson, MP for north Shropshire, said National Grid would not build the power line if the windfarms did not go ahead.
He said: “I have had it from National Grid they won’t invest in power lines if there is no source of power.”
He encouraged the public to take part in government consultation on energy.