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We won’t let the options divide us

Campaigners fighting SP Manweb’s plans to erect pylons through the Vale of Clwyd in their community have welcomed a delay to the plan.

After meetings last week, the consultation has been extended.

The route of the pylons will go from the windfarm being built in Clocaenong to St Asapah through Henllan, Llannefydd, Saron, Peniel, Llansannan and Cefn Meiriadog

The consultation was due to end on Sunday but has now been extended until June 27.

Llanefydd county councillor Sue Lloyd WIlliams, who organised one of the meetings, welcomed the decision.

She said: “We demanded an extension to the consultation period we didn’t think it was enough for the company to go away and think about it, we wanted a decision on the night. The communities are standing together on on this with a united voice. The cables must go underground.”

More than 100 villagers packed Llannefydd Village Hall on Wednesday to voice their opposition to the plans to erect pylons from Clocaenog windfarms to Cefn Meiriadog electricity sub-station.

The meeting voted unanimously to call for the electricity cable to be placed underground to minimise the impact on the rural environment, historic buildings, ancient woodlands and local businesses.

Many of those attending the meeting were directly affected by the proposed route of the pylons.

Cllr Lloyd-Williams said: “SP Manweb have proposed a number of routes but the overwhelming feeling of the meeting was not to allow the options to divide us.

“Henllan, Llannefydd, Llansannan and Cefn Meiriadog residents as well as farms affected were united in wanting the cable put underground.

“The extra cost of laying the cable underground has been a central issue but examples in Brechfa Forest and Rhigos Mountain in South Wales were cited as proof in the meeting that energy firms were able to take this option.”

SP Manweb were criticised by many of those present for their lack of proper consultation, in particular over the Hafod route, and the costs of putting the cables underground.

North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd added: “Local people don’t want pylons ruining their area. The point has been made very forcefully to both SP Manweb and those who will make the final planning decision that the cable should go underground and that that is a price worth paying to safeguard the countryside.

“I support the community’s vote to place the cables underground. The meeting heard that all such connections from renewable energy in Scotland is made underground. We need those planning decisions on big energy projects to be made closer to home as in Scotland.”

The meeting agreed to form a pressure group that will continue to lobby SP Manweb and David Jones MP at a meeting in Llannefydd that was held on Friday..

Speaking after the meeting David Jones MP said: “There was a large attendance at the meeting with three representatives of Scottish Power Manweb there as well.

“It was quite a successful meeting as we got an extension to the consultation and I arranged to speak with the person in RWE who has made the decsion to refuse pay to for the costs of putting the cables underground.

“People raised good points and we agreed that the minutes form the meeting will be included in the consultation so the strength of feeling locally will be represented.

There is no doubt that there will be a significant impact on the lives of people in these areas if the cables go ahead.”