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Plea to join fight against cables plans for wind farm

People across Wales are being asked to support Carmarthenshire in its opposition to overground cables and pylons planned as part of the proposed Brechfa wind farm development.

County council leader Kevin Madge has launched an e-petition on the UK Government website as part of a national campaign against the plans by Western Power Distribution (WPD).

He is now urging people to show their support and is also asking the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), MPs, AMs and all 21 other Welsh local authorities to sign the petition.

The aim is to gather a minimum of 100,000 signatures which could see the issue debated in the House of Commons.

The petition states: “We the undersigned find it totally unacceptable that the proposed Brechfa Forest, Carmarthenshire, wind farm, national grid connection should be made via an overhead line supported by wooden pylons. The environment of these, and other communities, should not be blighted by the visual impact of overhead cables. We ask the Energy Secretary to ensure that such connections are made underground in the UK.”

The petition follows a notice of motion against the plans, proposed by Carmarthen county councillor Peter Hughes Griffiths at the last full council meeting, which was unanimously accepted.

Councillors argued the overhead cables and pylons would be detrimental to the environment, to communities, a potential risk to health, a blight to housing and have an adverse effect on tourism in the area.

Several “corridor” options are being considered for the H-shaped wooden posts to carry power from three proposed wind farms in the Brechfa area to Swansea via Llandyfaelog south of Carmarthen and Burry Port as part of the Brechfa Connect scheme. Western Power Distribution (WPD) has been tasked by the wind farm developers to feed electricity generated by the turbines into the national grid.

Current plans indicate WPD will require 30km (18.6miles) of cabling which will be carried on 20 metre (65ft) wooden poles.

Councillors heard there was no technical reason the cables could not be laid underground, it was a matter of increased cost for Western Power.

Mr Madge added: “It is vital we demonstrate the strength of feeling against these proposals. There is no reason other than cost that the cables cannot be laid underground. We do not want this blight in Carmarthenshire or anywhere else in Wales, and we call on the Welsh people to make their voices heard.”

Over the next two years WPD said it would be talking with a range of groups, communities and elected representatives to get help in developing the proposals.

The petition is on the UK Government website at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions/53592