A fighting fund has been launched to ensure that campaign groups are legally represented at a public inquiry into plans to build a series of windfarms in Mid Wales next month.
The groups, including Montgomeryshire Against Pylons, say if the plans for hundreds of turbines across the Mid Wales uplands can be halted it may stop the need for high voltage electricity lines across Shropshire linking a new sub station in Cefn Coch to the National Grid at Frankton near Oswestry.
Jonathan Wilkinson, from MAP, said it was vital that The Alliance, comprising all the campaign groups, was represented by a barrister at the inquiry which starts in Welshpool on June 4.
The inquiry will decide whether the refusal of planning permission for five wind farms by Powys County Council should be upheld or overturned. They include proposals for 600-plus turbines in the Carno and Llanbrynmair areas.
Mr Wilkinson said: “These will have a devastating effect on the countryside. We are not looking at the smaller windfarms now in Mid Wales. These will have hundreds of turbines, many almost double the height of the original ones.”
“The outcome is very relevant to the power line proposed for Mid Wales and Shropshire as without them there may be no need to build it.
“We have fundraising events in place to hire a barrister and are also urging people to make donations to the cause.”
Last week it was announced that the inquiry would go ahead after the Government rejected calls from The Alliance for it to be halted.
The group’s request, which was passed to energy secretary Ed Davey, was turned down.
The Alliance told planning inspector Andrew Poulter at pre-inquiry talks in February that any decision from the inquiry would be ‘inescapably flawed’ because four of the five proposed wind farms would be linked to a separate application by National Grid to build a power line through Mid Wales and Shropshire.
They argued the full route of the power line had not yet been decided and assessments needed to be done on the environmental impact of the proposed cable, part of which will be carried on overhead pylons, before a decision on the wind farms could be taken.
More details on how to donate are available from the Montgomery Against Pylons website, www.montgomeryshireagainstpylons.org
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