As the National Grid publishes further details of its plans to connect wind farms in mid Wales, Welsh Conservatives have condemned Labour’s First Minister for repeatedly failing to stand up for the region’s communities.
It has now been announced that around one quarter of the pylon route will be underground, leaving three quarters above ground.
In June 2011 Labour’s Carwyn Jones said: ‘The Welsh Government believes this level of development is unacceptable in view of its wider impacts on the local area…. My Government would not support the construction of large pylons in Mid Wales.’
Despite this, the 33 mile pylon route is moving ahead and Mr Jones has remained silent for over two years.
Shadow Minister for Environment, Russell George AM, said:
“The First Minister’s deafening silence on the mid Wales connection project is shameful.
“He has betrayed the people of mid Wales and continues to sit back as plans move ahead to blight our landscape despite the wishes of communities.
“The connection project is just part of a larger energy scheme which will industrialise this region.
“It is Carwyn Jones’ policy that has actively encouraged developers and it is Carwyn Jones who refuses to believe the views of communities matter.
“Mid Wales will not forgive the Labour leader’s arrogance on wind farms and I urge him to make a statement and clarify his position.”
In June 2011, Carwyn Jones said:
“Our policy in TAN 8 seeks to restrict the proliferation of large scale wind farms across the whole of Wales and focuses on the Strategic Search Areas which were derived following an independent assessment.
“The indicative capacities set out in TAN8 in 2005 reflected a considered view of the potential impact of grid and transport connections. However, in a number of the SSAs, developer interest has now greatly exceeded those indicative figures. The Welsh Government believes this level of development is unacceptable in view of its wider impacts on the local area.
….It is this overcapacity which has led to proposals for major new overhead grid infrastructure. We contend that the level of capacity within the Strategic Search Areas which we set in 2005 would negate the need for the large obtrusive pylons which are causing such concern.
“My Government would not support the construction of large pylons in Mid Wales and my Ministers are pressing this case with National Grid Transmission and with Ofgem.”