Furious councillors in Mid Wales have accused National Grid of “bungling” its decision on where a controversial proposed pylon power line should be installed.
But National Grid bosses today insisted the route of the line is the “best option based on the information available”.
The criticism comes from Llansantffraid Community Council which is one of several organisations battling plans for a 33-mile power line from near the village of Cefn Coch in Mid Wales to Lower Frankton near Oswestry.
The line, some of which is set to be buried underground, will serve proposed Mid Wales windfarms which are currently subject to a planning inquiry.
Campaigners fear the line will destroy the landscape and decimate the tourism industry.
Llansantffraid Community Council has been in contact with National Grid highlighting its fears and has now received a response to them.
In reply to the company’s response, chairman Dennis Edwards, on behalf of the community council says in a new letter to National Grid: “National Grid has bungled the corridor choice of the route for the power line and pylons.
“We asked you in our statement to review that decision because, despite what you say about ‘balance’, you have made an obviously unbalanced decision.
“The route via Llansantffraid is the wrong choice on all grounds including population, landscape, cultural heritage, economy based on tourism, environment and wildlife.
“Your own documents agree with us on all these factors except landscape where we believe you have made a mistake in ignoring the special qualities of our river landscape.
“Our statement gave all the information needed to justify a review but you have ignored it.
“Actually, we consider your decision was based on a series of many mistakes which you refuse to admit and which you continue to publish.”
The council lists what it says are mistakes by National Grid regarding the choice of route.
Mr Edwards added: “We regard your offer of working “with the council” as empty and patronising and we see no point in meeting with National Grid unless with our political representatives and legal advisers present.”
In reply a spokesman for National Grid said: “We are grateful for the feedback provided by Llansantffraid.
“Feedback continues to play an important part in how we develop our proposals.
“In planning the connection, we have to consider and balance a wide range of factors, including technical and environmental factors.
“Community feedback is a further important factor and we always invite comments so this can influence the decisions we make.
“We feel the route we have put forward is the best option based on the information available.
“We will continue to consult with communities and specialist bodies and will keep our proposals under review.
“Should new information become available we will consider it.
“The next stage of consultation will provide people with the opportunity to comment on the detailed plans for the connection, before we apply for the required consents and we look forward to engaging with communities on our proposals.”
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