The public inquiry which will be key to whether a controversial power line is built through Shropshire and Mid Wales won’t come to a conclusion until May next year, a planning inspector revealed today.
Although the inquiry into the proposed building of five windfarms in Mid Wales starts in Welshpool in June, closing sessions won’t be held until 11 months later, a draft timetable lodged by inspector Andrew Poulter says.
Campaigners say the result of the windfarm inquiry will be key to whether a plan by National Grid to build a power line from Cefn Coch near Llanfair Caereinion to Lower Frankton near Oswestry goes ahead.
They warned those against the power plans to brace themselves for ‘a long haul’ as the inquiry process continues.
Mr Poulter released details of the draft timetable after holding pre-inquiry talks with windfarm companies, Powys County Council and campaigners. He said the inquiry would start on June 4 at the Royal Oak in Welshpool but then the proceedings would be broken up into four specific sessions over the following 11 months.
Mr Poulter urged campaigners to work with officers from Powys County Council, which opposes the turbines, to save time during the months-long inquiry.
He said: “The applicants and the council and other objectors are strongly advised to cooperate in advance to avoid duplication and waste of effort.”
Jonathon Wilkinson, from Montgomeryshire Against Pylons, said campaigners were steeling themselves for a long battle at the public inquiry.
He said: “It is certainly going to be a long haul and it won’t be going away quickly.
He said an event would be held in Welshpool on June 21 attended by MPs from Wales, England and Scotland.
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