Shropshire councillors object to plans for pylons
Following National Grid’s announcement that electricity cables connecting wind farms in Mid Wales to the electricity network will pass through Shropshire, the four Shropshire Councillors representing the areas on National Grid’s preferred route have launched a campaign to stop the cables being carried overground on pylons.
National Grid has confirmed it has identified Cefn Coch in Powys as the preferred siting area for a new substation, and a route corridor from Cefn Coch, via Llansantffraid to join the existing 400kv network at Lower Frankton as the preferred route for the cables.
Under this proposal, power lines would enter Shropshire just south of Pant, and cross through a small part of the Shropshire Council area to Lower Frankton.
The preferred route crosses the electoral divisions of Llanymynech, St Oswald, Whittington, and Ruyton and Baschurch.
It hasn’t yet been decided how the connection will be constructed but National Grid has indicated that a combination of both overhead lines and underground cables is likely to be used.
The councillors representing the affected areas – Arthur Walpole (Llanymynech), Joyce Barrow (St Oswald), Steve Charmley (Whittington), and Aggie Caeser-Homden (Ruyton and Baschurch) – have now pledged to do all they can to prevent the power lines being carried on pylons.
In a joint statement, the councillors said:
“We’re all extremely concerned about the prospect of power lines being carried through Shropshire on pylons, due to the impact this is likely to have on local communities, the countryside and the local economy. We’re determined that, if the lines do pass through our areas, they are carried underground.
“We know that National Grid is at an early stage of this project and still has many decisions to make. They have said that they’ll carry on listening to local views, and that these will play an important role as their plans progress. So, it’s really important that we all – councillors and local people – let them know what we think about their proposals.
“We urge local people to let us – and National Grid – know their views, and to come along to the local consultation meetings that National Grid are holding in Llanymynech on 7 August and West Felton on 15 August.
“People can contact us by email, phone, post or in person. We’ve also set up a Facebook page – called ‘Shropshire against pylons’ – on which people can leave us questions and comments.
“We are also asking Shropshire Council to reaffirm its formal objection to power cables.”
Once National Grid’s planning application is ready, it will be submitted to the National Infrastructure Directorate and Shropshire Council will be invited to submit its formal response to the application, as a statutory consultee.
In its official response to National Grid’s public consultation in June 2011 (see news story here), Shropshire Council recognised that National Grid is required to connect new wind farms to the network but said that the Council would object to any overhead line solution, which it considered to be significantly detrimental to the county’s visitor economy.
For details of how to contact each of the councillors, click here.
For more information about National Grid’s proposals click here.