The leader of Shropshire Council has waded into the row over wind turbines after plans for a massive windfarm in the Bristol Channel were shelved.
Councillor Keith Barrow said he hoped the news would boost the campaign against some of the windfarms planned for Shropshire and Mid Wales, as well as against a string of pylons that would be needed to carry energy from windfarms in Wales.
It was revealed yesterday that Atlantic Array, a 240-turbine windfarm in the Bristol Channel that would have powered 900,000 homes and created thousands of jobs, will not go ahead.
Councillor Barrow said: “Windfarms are completely unviable and, without the massive subsidies, would not go ahead as they are totally unprofitable. The impact on the countryside is horrendous – house prices fall, they affect lifestyles and are a blot on the landscape.
“Without turbines, we won’t have pylons. It is a chicken-and-egg situation and one we should carefully look at.
“National Grid are now saying that if their scheme goes ahead, underground cables will be used in Mid Wales, and pylons in Shropshire. Perhaps this is because we haven’t been as vocal as campaigners have been in Wales?
“Perhaps we need to be in the forthcoming weeks and months – otherwise we may lose the most positive aspect in Shropshire, the beautiful countryside.”
Reacting to news that the Bristol Channel scheme had been shelved, director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, Gareth Clubb, said: “The UK and Welsh Governments alike need to start asking searching questions of their own policies. Without enough political support, too many projects like this could fail before they’ve even started.
“Wales has some of the finest clean energy resources in the world. Through harnessing the wind, rain and sun we can boost employment at the same time as ensuring the future security of our energy supply.”
Earlier this month, plans for four 130 metre (426ft) high turbines were unveiled close to Gnosall, near Newport, while plans are also in the pipeline for a turbine of the same height to be built near Ellesmere.
In Mid Wales, one of five proposed wind farms subject to a public inquiry – Carnedd Wen, near Llanbrynmair – will feature more than 60 turbines with a blade tip of 137m (449ft) if it gets the go-ahead, while many more applications in the pipeline propose turbines more than 120m (394ft) tall.
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