Controversial plans to build a series of windfarms across Mid Wales have been given the go-ahead – but the decision is being kept a secret until after the General Election.
Reports say Lib Dem Ed Davey, who served as Energy and Climate Change Secretary in the coalition government, has given the go-ahead for three of the five giant windfarms planned for Mid Wales, along with 30 miles of pylons.
But the plans are so unpopular that Mr Davey has refused to make a public announcement before May’s election fearing it would harm the Lib Dems’ chances of winning the Montgomeryshire seat.
According to reports over the weekend, planning inspector Andrew Poulter has recommended permission be given for the windfarms, following a year-long public inquiry. They each consist of between 17 and 65 turbines up to 450ft tall. A report with recommendations was delivered to Mr Davey in December.
A spokesman at the Department of Energy and Climate Change said Mr Davey had “relinquished making any decision” and instead left it to his successor after the general election in May. The spokesman said four months had not been long enough for Mr Davey to make a ruling.
A source told the Sunday Telegraph: “Three windfarms will be given planning consent but not until after the election.”
Glyn Davies, who is seeking re-election as Montgomeryshire’s Conservative MP, said he could not confirm the accuracy of the reports but added:“I would be shocked if the Secretary of State, or anyone else at DECC, were to have ‘leaked’ any decision.”
He added he would be disappointed if any of the windfarms were approved but said that if two of the windfarms were rejected, it would be another blow to developers. “Such refusals would further undermine the horribly destructive proposal by National Grid to build a line of massive pylons from North Shropshire to Cefn Coch in Montgomeryshire,” he said.
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