Campaigners today said they have fresh confidence that they will win their fight to stop pylons being built across the Shropshire and Mid Wales countryside.
Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies, who has been backing a battle by Powys County Council and The Alliance campaign group, said for the first time he believed the battle against for the Mid Wales Connection project linking windfarms to the national electricity network in north Shropshire would be successful.
He said he will be writing to National Grid to tell them its shareholders are wasting money and they should give up the plans.
Mr Davies said he had been moved to make the bold prediction for the first time following a series of private meetings he has held with interested parties in the past few days.
But he stopped short of giving detailed reasons for his reinforced belief that the pylons would not be built.
His stance has been backed by Jonathan Wilkinson, chairman of Montgomeryshire Against Pylons, who said the “political will” was turning against windfarms.
Mr Davies said: “For the first time during this fight I am going to say that I think we will win the battle. I have kept saying that we had a chance, but following some meetings I have held this week I am now confident of victory.
“I have been opposed to the scale of onshore wind farm development envisaged by the Welsh Government for Mid Wales since 2005. For six years I was in a minority, was being generally ignored and thought there was no chance of stopping it.
“Then the people of Montgomeryshire spoke so loudly that I thought perhaps there was a chance. I have now had some meetings which lead me to think they will be stopped. But I’ve been left disappointed and disillusioned before and I am not willing to go public with why I think this until I am certain.
“There have been some incredible local activists who have shown such amazing commitment and determination at great personal cost and I am hopeful they will now win.”
“I am going to write to National Grid and tell them to stop wasting their shareholders’ money and I can actually see them suspend the plans in the coming months.”
Mr Wilkinson, whose group is one of 21 organisations campaigning under The Alliance umbrella, said he was sworn to confidence on what he had been told about the private meetings. But he said: “It is political at the highest level.
“The political will is turning against onshore windfarms. The Tories have said pretty clearly that they would stop any further subsidy to onshore windfarms if they win the next election and I think the other major parties are starting to think the same – I think there’s more of a consensus than we know.
“I think it is really encouraging news. The indications are looking better all the time.”
A public inquiry is being held in Welshpool into planned wind farms in Llanbadarn Fynydd, near Llandrindod Wells; Llaithddu, near Newtown; Llandinam, near Llanidloes; Llanbrynmair, near Machynlleth; Carnedd Wen, near Machynlleth; with a 132kV overhead electric line connection from a Llandinam wind farm to the Welshpool substation.
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