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Campaigners: Suspend plans to build pylons in Shropshire and Mid Wales immediately

Plans to build pylons across Shropshire and Mid Wales should be suspended immediately, campaigners have claimed.

National Grid wants to build an electricity substation and pylons which would carry power generated by proposed wind farms to the national connection.

But Russell George, Montgomeryshire AM, who is fighting the plans, has called on National Grid to suspend its Mid Wales Connection Project.

He said he wanted the company to suspend the project until the outcome of a public inquiry into five wind farms.

Mr George said should planning inspector Andrew Poulter rule against the planned wind farms there would be no need for National Grid to move ahead with the plans.

He said: “The National Grid is currently conducting a further consultation on the detailed route for the Mid Wales Connection Project, which will see the connection of proposed wind farms in Mid Wales to the national electricity network in Shropshire.

“My own view is that they should suspend their work and not have a further consultation until the outcome of the Mid Wales Conjoined Wind Farm Inquiry is known.

“They are unlikely to do this, as they are driven by a timetable set by the developers. However, I would strongly urge people to attend the public consultation events and let your views be known. The consultation closes on February 9.

“It is still unclear whether a final decision on the wind farms will be made before the general election next May. I fully appreciate that there are different views on the plans for hundreds of further turbines throughout Mid Wales but I am clear on my position – I will continue to fully oppose the Mid Wales Connection project and will do all I can to influence the Secretary of State for Energy, Ed Davey, to reject the applications that went before the inquiry.

“I also believe that the Welsh Government, as a key consultee on nationally significant energy infrastructure projects, must also stand up for the interests of Mid Wales and reflect the deep-seated concerns and opposition which exists in Mid Wales.”

As part of the plans, National Grid wants to build a 400kV electricity line between a proposed substation at Cefn Coch, near Welshpool, to Lower Frankton, near Oswestry.

Part of the line is to be underground while other parts could be carried overhead on pylons. The pylon network would take over two years to build and work could start by 2019.