Mid Wales

Peniarth Valley 'too steep' for Powys pylon route

Electricity pylons
Image caption The pylons are planned to link a substation to the national transmission network

Plans to erect pylons through a Powys valley as part of major project to upgrade the electricity network have been dropped because it is too steep.

National Grid says a corridor of pylons in Powys and Shropshire is needed along with a 19-acre substation.

But proposals to route pylons in Peniarth Valley have been scrapped in favour of neighbouring Vyrnwy Valley.

Opponents claim the substation site and the pylons will disfigure the countryside and destroy large areas.

The Peniarth and Vyrnwy valleys were revealed as possible pylon routes last year after Cefn Coch, near Llanfair Caereinion, was chosen as the site for the substation.

The pylons could link the substation hub to the national transmission network in Shropshire.

'Best route'

Other pylons, proposed by power companies, would link a number of planned wind farms in mid Wales to the substation.

But there has been strong opposition to the scheme and demonstrations have been held.

National Grid's mid Wales connection project manager Jeremy Lee said: "We're continuing to work on the best route for the connection.

"But it was becoming increasingly clear that construction challenges, such as the steepness of the valley, and environmental effects in the Peniarth Valley makes a route through the Vyrnwy Valley a better option to take forward."

Mr Lee added that an as-yet unknown length of power cable was planned to go underground around Meifod, near Welshpool.

"A section of underground cable in the more sensitive areas around the village of Meifod seems appropriate recognising the beautiful landscape and rich cultural heritage," Mr Lee said.

He said he understood people's concerns, so National Grid wanted to "remove some of the uncertainties by letting everyone know these latest developments now rather than waiting until all of the work on the route has been finished".

Montgomeryshire's Conservative AM Russell George said: "While I would like to see further details of today's decision, the announcement comes as no surprise.

"However, even though this route has been discounted National Grid is still determined to press ahead with the connection project and destroy large areas of Montgomeryshire in the face of community opposition."

He said there was no justification for the project and urged communities in Montgomeryshire to remain resolute and united in their opposition of the project.

Action group Montgomeryshire Against Pylons has been asked to comment.

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