Building a 10 mile long stretch of overhead pylons 15 metres to connect wind farms to a sub-station in St Asaph will create an ugly “eyesore”, local politicians have warned.
Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has given his backing to Denbighshire residents who want underground cables to connect the four wind farms in Clocaenog Forest with the sub-station.
A cross-party group of county councillors have put forward a motion to a meeting of the full council to be held today, urging the authority to “demand” that the entire length of the connection is laid underground.
Energy suppliers SP-Manweb have said the proposed pylons have been designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, and are planning to use wooden instead of tall steel structures.
But that has not placated residents who have set up a pressure group called “Pylon The Pressure” and held several public meetings to express their opposition.
Gerwyn Jones who lives near the route and is part of the pressure group, said: “The overhead pylons would have a significant detrimental effect on popular tourism destinations.
“Tourists are attracted to the area because of the beautiful uninterrupted views of the area as well as the Vale of Clwyd and Moel Famau – areas of outstanding natural beauty.”
Clwyd West MP David Jones told the Daily Post: “People are genuinely concerned about the impact these pylons will have on their quality of life, on local tourism and a fragile economy, and on their house prices.”
The pylons will pass through close to Saron and Peniel, in rural Denbighshire with some cables passing just 25 metres from residential properties under preferred routes.
A spokesperson for SP-Manweb said: “The cost of any connection for a new renewable energy project is paid for by the developer. SP-Manweb has an obligation to offer the most cost effective connection to all developers, but must fully consider all environmental concerns, including visual impact. We must treat all developers in the same way, whether it is a small community project, or a large commercial development.
“Underground cables are considered at a number of stages throughout a project; at conception, during options appraisal and during the environmental impact assessment (EIA). On the basis of the preliminary environmental assessment to date, it is considered that an overhead line would be appropriate for the project, but a final decision will only be made in light of the final environmental impact assessment, which will be completed in the coming months.”
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