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Protest over pylons plans for the Shropshire countryside  

Credit:  Shropshire Star | April 15, 2014 | www.shropshirestar.com ~~

Young people were among those protesting at the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry yesterday.

Clive Knowles, chairman of the company, said the pylons would have an horrendous impact on tourism in the area. His land will be among that affected by the plans.

Pylons will be built across swathes of countryside if National Grid builds a link from windfarms in Mid Wales to the National Grid at Lower Frankton, near Ellesmere.

Mr Knowles said: “The protest went extremely well and we were very well supported by youth from The Centre in Oswestry who brought banners along. We were very grateful for their support.

“It was the first protest that we’ve staged in order to start to raise greater awareness of the pylons coming across Shropshire, which will definitely effect the beauty of Shropshire and impact on tourism. It’s absolutely horrendous.

The British Ironworks Centre has plans to open a new 70-acre sculpture park on land between its site off the A5 and Queens Head after gaining more than 20 sculptures from the Museum of Iron sculpture in Ironbridge when it closed last year.

But Mr Knowles said if the pylons go ahead then it could have a severe impact on the success of the sculpture park and of other tourist attractions along the route of the power line.

He is supporting a public meeting that will be held at Oswestry Golf Club next month.

Mr Knowles suggested that sculptures could be used to carry electricity lines to the national network if they cross the sculpture park.

He said he had made an offer to National Grid to create a giant stag sculpture to carry overhead lines over his company’s land.

Another option put forward by Mr Knowles was to run cables underground in the area to prevent them from affecting the landscape near his land.

Similar proposals to use sculptures to carry electricity cables have bene used in countires such as Sweden and Iceland.

Mr Knowles said: “To have the land here, to have the metalwork experts here and the museum of sculpture which we’re going to create, and to have the desire and the drive to do the project without asking for a penny from anyone else, and then to be told that you’re going to have a monstrous latticework pylon in the middle of it is unbelievable.

“What we are saying is that National Grid is not going to be permitted to come across here. No matter how many people we have to raise in order to support this we will not allow the pylons to come across the national sculpture park.

“We have also suggested that the British Ironworks Centre could create a giant stag sculpture which could carry the overhead line in its antlers. This is something which has been done in Sweden. It is disappointing that, so far, the energy company has not supported any of our suggestions.”

Mr Knowles made the comments as 150 people turned out at the centre for a protest against plans for the pylons across the Mid Wales and Shropshire countryside.

A protest meeting organised by the British Ironworks Centre will be held at Oswestry Golf Club on the A5 on May 21 at 7pm. Members of the Alliance Against Pylons, Shropshire North Against Pylons, and Montgomeryshire Against Pylons will be at the meeting to talk with local campaigners.

Mr Knowles said: “We’re just starting now to show National Grid the strength of feeling about not running rough-shod across everyone in Shropshire and they need to work with all the properties affected, and one of those is here.”

“We want to protect the unspoilt beauty of this county for future generations . The young people from Oswestry youth centre ,were brilliant at the demonstration here. They created their own banners in their own style graffiti street style and joined 60 of our own staff

“National Grid is offering the Shropshire countryside an epic eyesore to help wind farms, which are not a valid energy option. We have to put tourism before these proposals.”

[video available]

Source:  Shropshire Star | April 15, 2014 | www.shropshirestar.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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