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Monstrous Mid Wales hub substation plan slammed

Plans to build a giant electricity substation near a Mid Wales village have been blasted by a Powys County Councillor as ‘complete and utter nonsense’.

Cllr Wynne Jones, who represents the Dolforwyn ward, has said that residents of Abermule were outraged to hear that National Grid is considering the area as a location for a 400kv substation.

The County Times understands that National Grid will be announcing two locations for the possible siting of the 400kv hub on March 10. The hub is required to carry electricity from a number of proposed windfarms to the national grid.

The locations are believed to be to the east of Abermule and near Llanllugan at Cefn Coch. The site will need to be around 20 acres in size to accommodate the equipment.

Cllr Jones said: “Back in 2008 I hit the press with the information that we would be inundated with convoys of lorries for six to eight years while wind farms are constructed. At the same time I pointed out the lack of strategic planning in the distribution of power from the windfarms when they’re built and we are now moving into that phase.

“I consider the idea of putting a hub close to Abermule, which already has power lines skirting the village, then bringing in several other power lines from other windfarms, a complete and utter nonsense and shows how the lack of strategic planning is allowing this to happen in a haphazard fashion.

“The actual planning permission for the lines lies with the minister in Westminster who probably won’t know Abermule or the Severn Valley.”

Although the Westminster Government will decide on planning permission for a number for electricity lines required to connect wind- farms, it is Powys County Council who will be responsible for awarding planning permission for the 400kv hub.

Cllr Jones said National Grid should consider a location as far away from people as possible for the site.

He said: “My opinion is that the hub should be placed up in the hills, suitably located between strategic search area B and C (windfarm development areas), in an uninhabited area where it should not be difficult to find a site not seen from anywhere. Power should be collected there for all wind farms with one distribution line out, preferably underground.”

Cllr Jones also told the County Times that the community of Abermule would be considering the best way to respond once an official announcement has been made.

He said: “At the community meeting in Abermule last Tuesday for the local development plan, I acquainted the community with these proposals and the entire community was outraged and as soon as the proposals are confirmed on March 10 a further community meeting on the issue will be arranged so it can decide the approach to the consultation event on March 10. I expect stiff opposition to these proposals from the communities of Abermule and Llandyssil.”