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Mind-boggling cost of Mid Wales wind plans criticised

The multi-million pound cost of improving the Mid Wales roads network to accommodate the movement of huge wind turbine equipment convoys has been described as “simply mind-boggling” by a county councillor.

Roads may have to be lowered, a river bridge built and the traffic system permanently altered to allow the convoys to negotiate the area’s narrow routes, should controversial windfarms get the go-ahead, Llanfyllin’s county councillor Peter Lewis warned a meeting last night.

He said Powys County Council chiefs briefed councillors yesterday on the ongoing public inquiry into plans to build a series of windfarms in Mid Wales.

The first phase of the year-long inquiry has now come to a conclusion with the second phase to start in September.

He said during the briefing, county council bosses had outlined the evidence which had come out so far during the inquiry and said the infrastructure improvements which would be need to allow the convoys to pass through the region was “absolutely unbelievable”.

Councillor Lewis said some of the larger equipment may start its journey to Mid Wales from Newport in South Wales.

But he said the inquiry had been told road network improvements would have to be made to allow that to happen.

He said among the issues was how to move the loads through Builth Wells. He said one possibility was for a road bridge to be built over the River Wye. Another issue would be how to get the loads under a low railway bridge at Crossgates near Llandrindod Wells. He said it had been suggested the road could be lowered.

Councillor Lewis added: “The cost of all this is astronomical. It is simply mind-boggling what they are suggesting, absolutely unbelievable.

“You can’t believe who much all this money is costing, all for green energy.”

He said the briefing at County Hall in Llandrindod Wells had heard that to cut down on cost, the convoys could come from North Wales, via the Oswestry area.

But he said that would mean the traffic would have to negotiate several accident blackspots such as the Llynclys crossing near Oswestry.

He said: “Llynclys is an accident waiting to happen, it is horrendous.”

Last night’s meeting was also told talks to discuss a proposed closer working relationship between the town council and the nearby Llansantffraid Community Council to help the campaign against the turbine plans had been deferred.