Campaigners who spent almost 12 months fighting a public inquiry against plans for four wind farms and a power line have been praised for their efforts.
Russell George, AM for Montgomeryshire, has written a letter thanking all campaigners who attended and spoke at the Mid Wales Conjoined Wind Farm inquiry.
He said he can feel the “tide turning” against wind power in the country and is hopeful of a positive outcome following the inquiry, ended earlier this year and is now in the hands of planning inspector Andrew Poulter who is expected to give his verdict in the coming months.
The inquiry was into plans to build wind farms in Llanbadarn Fynydd near Llandrindod Wells, Llaithddu near Newtown, Llandinam near Llanidloes, Llanbrynmair near Machynlleth and Carnedd Wen near Machynlleth with a 132kV overhead electric line connection from a Llandinam wind farm to the Welshpool substation.
If the plans get given the go ahead it would pave the way for the National Grid’s Mid Wales Connection Project which would see the power generated by the wind farms carried by overhead and underground pylons from a proposed substation in Cefn Coch, near Llanfair Caereinion to he national supply at Lower Frankton, near Oswestry.
Mr George said: “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those who attended, wrote in and spoke at the inquiry. The inspector can be left in no doubt as to the strength of feeling and passion of Montgomeryshire people on this issue.
“I am particularly grateful to the Alliance campaign group for all of their work supporting and coordinating campaigners and for spreading the message and keeping people informed. Montgomeryshire could not have equipped itself better.
“In January I met with Prime Minister David Cameron and spoke with him about the threat facing Montgomeryshire and I know that Glyn Davies, our MP, regularly raises the issue with him.
“He is kept well briefed on the issue and has noticed the strong feelings locally.
“The tide is turning on wind energy policy. We can see these changes in a recent letter from Laurence Mann, one of the Prime Minister’s closest advisors, in response to a letter from Montgomeryshire Against Pylons about Conservative wind farm policy ahead of next year’s general election, which has three main points.
“There will be no further wind farm subsidies beyond those already planned, onshore wind planning applications will be made locally and not swept into a national infrastructure, and planning policy will be strengthened to give greater protection to valued landscape, heritage and local concerns.”
Mr George added: “This is incredibly positive news. Montgomeryshire people have made their voices heard on the street, in the council chamber, in the Assembly and in Parliament and they are being listened to.”
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