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Blueprint could kill off big wind farms and pylons

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A blueprint for the future of the region could finally bring an end to fears over large scale wind farms and power lines.

Seven years after work first began on the Powys Local Development plan, the final documents are available and have been recommended for approval ahead of a county council cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

And it could mean an end to plans for a series of large scale wind farms and the associated overhead power lines and pylons.

Work began in 2011, and after having a first draft rejected, new plans which would have littered the Powys countryside with wind turbines to meet a government renewable energy target were slammed by politicians and campaigners.

Revised plans were then put forward to cut the region's wind energy target by 90 per cent from 600 megawatts to 60, and have 20 areas suitable for solar developments.

Plans will go before the Powys County Council cabinet and then the full council, and if accepted, the authority will have eight weeks to adopt the plan.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies, who has helped to fight the Mid Wales Connection Project in recent years, is hoping the plan being rubber stamped will finally end fears of large scale wind development in the region.

Fears

He said: "The LDP has been going on a long time and I hope when this goes through it will put an end to people's fears that the Powys countryside will be ruined.

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"If it goes through, it will make it difficult for companies to force their way onto the landscape of Mid Wales to develop it and damage it."

When it is rubber stamped, Mr Davies has insisted he will again call on the National Grid to abandon their plans to build 40 kilometre line of massive steel pylons through the Vrynwy Valley from North Shropshire to Cefn Coch.

The Mid Wales Connection Project inquiry into five wind farm proposals concluded in September 2015, with all but one refused.

After the plans were rejected, it was expected the National Grid would abandon plans.

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Two of the wind farm applications are still awaiting an appeal decision in the high court, and Mr Davies wants the organisation to officially confirm their plans are over.

He added: "When the LDP plan has gone through, I will again be writing to the National Grid to officially announced they've scrapped their plans.

"It is still hanging over the people of Montgomeryshire like the sword of Damocles, it is still affecting people's ability to sell their homes and their house prices and causing much distress."

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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