Around 1,500 protesters converged on the Senedd yesterday urging the Assembly to review its wind farm policy before it “destroys upland Mid Wales”.
In what was the largest ever such gathering in Cardiff Bay, communities from the Welshpool area in Mid Wales demonstrated against plans for 50-metre high pylons and 100 miles of cables that would connect a major electricity substation near Abermule or Cefn Coch in Montgomeryshire to the National Grid.
Glyn Davies, Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, said: “I was with the Assembly for eight years and in all that time I’ve never seen a protest like this.
“The rally has been very well organised and the turnout has been amazing.
“A whole region has come to challenge the Assembly and the response I’m getting from Ministers is that the region’s wishes should not be trampled upon.
“A huge majority of people are opposed to the Assembly’s Tan 8 policy. All the regional Assembly Members spoke and up to 30 AMs came out to see the crowds.
“This march is one part of an ongoing strategy and our next protest is likely to be against a planning application for a major wind farm.”
Russell George, Conservative AM for Montgomeryshire and Shadow Minister for the Environment, insisted a clear message had been sent to politicians.
“The Welsh Government’s Tan 8 policy puts far too much emphasis on wind turbines, almost to the exclusion of other more reliable energy sources, which would have a less detrimental impact on our countryside,” he said.
Nick Larder, Ifan Davies, Oili Hedman and local journalist Richard Jones walked 112 miles from Welshpool to the capital because they feel so strongly about the “industrialisation of the countryside”.
Mr Jones said: “After five days of walking we finally got into Cardiff.
“We’ve battled through wind, rain, hail – we have blisters and sore knees – but it has all been worth it, especially when we have so much support.”
And Montgomeryshire children presented AMs with an arrangement of local wild flowers to show them how the beauty of the Severn Valley habitat is under threat.
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