Fresh boost for windfarm fight as MP holds top-level talks with secretary of state over inquiry
Campaigners fighting plans for two large-scale windfarms – which would see a power line built stretching from north Shropshire into Mid Wales – have been given a fresh boost.
Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said he has held top-level talks with energy secretary Amber Rudd over the reopening of a planning inquiry into the windfarms.
Mr Davies said that following the meeting he is confident the "battle is not lost".
Plans for five windfarms were thrown out by the Government last year, but two of those applications have been called back by Ms Rudd.
If the applications are approved it could lead to a power line being put in from Legacy, just north of Oswestry, to Cefn Coch in Montgomeryshire.
But Mr Davies said: "I can understand the concern of those opposed to multiple windfarms in Mid Wales and the proposed massive power line from north Shropshire to Cefn Coch in Montgomeryshire about the current position.
"No decision has yet been taken about whether to reopen the public inquiry, which will add further to the delay, and greatly to costs – which will eventually be borne by energy users.
"Personally, I'm relaxed about this. The previous inspector actually recommended approval and perhaps a new inspector might be persuaded to recommend refusal.
"It's important that no possible excuse can remain for these absolutely determined developers to continue with their terrifying threats to Mid Wales."
After the Carnedd Wen and Llanbrynmair proposals were refused, the developers decided to seek a judicial review into the process by which the decisions were reached.
The secretary of state considered the position and judged that the best way forward was to quash the decisions and reconsider them.
"It's important to understand the actual status of these two developments," Mr Davies added.
"They were part of the conjoined public inquiry into five windfarms plus a 132kv power line which took place over nine months from 2013 to 2014 and were refused by the secretary of state in September 2015.
"Such controversial decisions must be dealt with scrupulously fairly and as transparently as possible," Mr Davies said.
"I accept that the secretary of state must give full consideration to these two applications.
"I also hope that after due consideration she will come to the same decision as she did in September.
"We would all like to see this black cloud, which has been hanging over Montgomeryshire and Shropshire for many years, lifted, but we will have to wait a little while longer."
Mr Davies said that while he couldn't talk about any details of the two applications, he has discussed the timetable and how the secretary of state will proceed to make her decision.
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