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Lord Carlile condemns plans for pylons and more wind farms

Liberal Democrat peer and former Montgomeryshire MP, Lord Carlile of Berriew has condemned proposals to build an ugly network of pylons, wires and wind farms across the constituency as “an unnecessary and an economic error of high magnitude”.

A Deputy High Court judge and QC, Lord Carlile was MP for Montgomeryshire from 1983 to 1997 and remains passionate about his former constituency. He has pledged his full support to campaigners who oppose controversial proposals to cover the uplands of Montgomeryshire with wind farms that will then be connected to the National Grid via a 20-acre substation near either Abermule or Cefn Coch, and high powered cables carried by 26-metre and 46-metre-high pylons.

Lord Carlile says the Welsh Assembly Government’s Tan 8 document, which identified Montgomeryshire as a prime location for wind farms, has failed to take into account the impact of the turbines on the beautiful landscape and should be reviewed.

“From the time I was MP for Montgomeryshire, I have been opposed to the ruination of the Montgomeryshire landscape by extensive wind farms and their infrastructure,” he said. “TAN 8 fails utterly to take these important issues into account.

“The current grid proposal, to build a large and ugly network of pylons and wires, is exactly what we do not want. The contribution of on-shore wind, and such value as it presents economically, have been exaggerated in order to give the impression that there is a more mixed energy policy than is revealed by true examination of the underlying policy.

“As Liberal Democrats have always maintained, energy saving measures are available that would have a real effect on the amount of electricity required.

“Tax breaks on hybrid and electric cars, useful grants to insulate homes, a commitment to safe nuclear power and the development of shale gas resources are examples of why the industrialisation of the Welsh landscape is unnecessary and an economic error of high magnitude.

“I expect our elected representatives to agree with this and challenge them all to say so. Powys politicians should unite with one voice about these appalling proposals.”

Other prominent figures opposing the plans are Lady Hooson, from Llanidloes, wife of Lord Hooson, Montgomeryshire MP from 1962 to 1979 and Shrewsbury’s Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski.

“I am totally opposed to the idea of these wind farms with hundreds of wind turbines, 47-metre -high steel pylons and a 20-acre substation in our area,” said Lady Hooson. “It would totally destroy the natural beauty of this area and have a serious effect on the tourism industry and property prices.

“The unreliable, intermittent power generated would be very expensive and not for the national or local good.”

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has challenged the Welsh Assembly Government over the Tan 8 document, arguing that Shropshire should have been consulted about the designation of Mid Wales for wind farm development as it is directly affected by the associated infrastructure.

“I will fight tooth and nail to prevent my beautiful county being decimated by these ghastly electricity pylons,” he added.