Shropshire Star

Plans for wind farms could resurrect pylon line into Shropshire

A large scale wind farm proposed for Mid Wales could see pylons built across north Powys and Shropshire to connect the development to the National Grid.

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Craig Williams and Russell George, Welsh Conservative MP and Member of the Senedd for Montgomeryshire, have re-affirmed their opposition to any large large pylon infrastructure in Mid Wales, in response to several pre-application plans for wind farm development.

They say they have serious concerns about the proposals which includes a site at Garn Fach south of Newtown, as well as initial plans for a similarly large development south of Llanfair Caereinion.

Their concerns include the height specification of turbines and the fact that there is currently no National Grid infrastructure capable of collecting and distributing generated power.

It could, they say, trigger a review by the National Grid to re-examine plans for a potential electricity hub at Cefn Coch. The proposal would also require the erection of 400kV lattice pylons linking the hub to the main grid in Shropshire.

Mr Williams said: "Russell and I have been briefed about initial plans to build a large-scale wind farm south of Llanfair Caereinion. I have multiple concerns about the proposals, which would include the erection of 14, 200-metre-high wind turbines.

"Such developments, alongside other applications like Garn Fach, would almost certainly require grid connection. I am seeking an urgent meeting with UK ministers to gain clarification over Government policies regarding these proposals, given that there is no current grid capacity and which would therefore trigger National Grid intervention.

“These proposals would bring years of stress and disruption to our communities, blighting our wonderous landscapes with large turbines and pylons, which will be driven through localities in Mid Wales. Montgomeryshire’s residents have already been unanimous in their opposition to large pylon infrastructure.”

Mr George said: “I can’t support a windfarm development proposal without knowing how the generated energy is going to be connected to the National Grid.

“Residents across Mid Wales have expressed their views on large pylon infrastructure. We know that such infrastructure would be bad for the local tourism industry. Our landscapes are our unique selling point, and any proposals, such as those we had from National Grid a decade ago, will once again be firmly rejected.”

A decade ago plans for pylons connecting wind farms in Mid Wales with the National Grid between Oswestry and Ellesmere brought a huge wave of protests and the scheme did not go ahead.