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Pylon route plan does not impress Shropshire Council

Councillors have expressed ‘deep concerns’ about controversial windfarm plans which could see electricity pylons built through parts of Shropshire and Mid Wales.

A full meeting of Shropshire Council at Shirehall yesterday saw councillors almost unanimously back a motion expressing fears about the potential impact of the National Grid’s proposals.

The motion, which was put forward by Councillor Arthur Walpole, expressed ‘deep concerns’ as to the potential ‘detrimental impact’ on Shropshire of a number of windfarms being planned for Mid Wales.

It also cited worries about the impact of construction traffic when the pylons are built. National Grid is proposing to build a 400,000 volt line to bring electricity generated at wind farms in Mid Wales into the national power network in Shropshire.

Its proposed route is from an electricity substation at Cefn Coch, west of Welshpool, via Llansanttfraid, south of Llanymynech and Oswestry to Lower Frankton, where it will join the main network.

Councillor David Roberts, said: “I’m deeply worried about these plans for a number of reasons.

“If National Grid decided to come over the top of your house, there is absolutely no compensation for the householder at all. If that is not a scandal I do not know what is.”

He said wind power is ‘completely and utterly dependent’ on Government subsidies for schemes to go ahead.

The only councillor to vote against the motion was Mansel Williams, who said that while opposition to the National Grid’s plans were ‘perfectly understandable’ the wider picture needed to be considered.

He said windfarms can be a sustainable way for the country to provide electricity rather than relying on international providers. “It does not cause pollution. It creates jobs and could create jobs for our communities,” he said.

But Councillor Walpole said the proposals had not found favour in Wales either, with a recent survey showing strong opposition to the building of pylons.

National Grid will be informed of the council’s position, and a letter will also be sent to energy secretary Ed Davey.