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Wind and solar plans resurrect fears over Shropshire pylons

By Sue Austin | North Shropshire | Politics | Published:

Proposals to build large-scale wind and solar farms in Mid Wales have raised fears that a scheme to connect power to the National Grid through Shropshire could be back on the agenda.

Would you welcome more wind pylons in Shropshire and Mid Wales?

Campaigners against the mothballed scheme for pylons, that would cut a swathe across north Shropshire countryside, say they are trying to get more information about how the Welsh government’s future vision for alternative energy scheme in the countryside above Welshpool and Newtown would tap into the grid.

A scheme for pylons running down through the Meifod Valley skirting Oswestry and into the grid south of Ellesmere is, they say, in hibernation and could be resurrected.

The wind and solar farm proposals have been described as potentially devastating by Powys Assembly Member, Russell George.

The AM for Montgomeryshire, who has been a long-time supporter of protecting the Mid Wales landscape, says the Welsh Government’s Draft National Development Framework includes large-scale wind and solar development in priority areas including land west of Welshpool and Newtown.

The framework sets the direction for development in Wales from 2020 to 2040.

'Desire to trash the landscapes'

It says there will be a presumption in favour of large-scale on-shore wind development in these areas with an acceptance of landscape change.

Mr George said: “The proposals contained within this Welsh Government plan will come as no surprise to the people of Mid Wales.

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Russell George, AM for Powys

"We have always known the Welsh Government’s desire to trash the Mid Wales’ landscapes. The document released this week effectively confirms that."

"Local people have seen off a number of attempts to destroy Powys' beautiful countryside with large scale pylon infrastructure, and I have no doubt that local people will resurrect the campaign again to prevent these devastating proposals see the light of day."

Warning bells

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Charles Green of Shropshire CPRE, who appeared at the public inquiry into the pylons for the alliance of campaign groups in Montgomery and Shropshire, said: "Many, many people have been in touch concerned that this draft national development framework could see the pylons scheme brought out of hibernation.

"The alarming maps attached to the framework have raised fears that the scheme could be resurrected.

"The draft framework is very loose and woolly and we are trying to find out more details."

He said the power generated from mid Wales wind and solar farm would have to go somewhere.

"Wales does not have the infrastructure and this power would be used across England.

"They would have to support the power and in the case of Mid Wales this is likely to be through Shropshire."

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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