North East Wales

Legal challenge bid against Clocaenog Forest power lines scheme

Workman on a wooden power cable Image copyright Thinkstock

Opponents of a power lines scheme across parts of rural Denbighshire and Conwy plan to launch a legal challenge.

SP Manweb is set to erect 17km (10.5 miles) of cables linking two windfarms in Clocaenog Forest with a sub-station at Glascoed, near St Asaph.

The plans were approved by Energy Secretary Greg Clark last week.

Opponents argued it would impact the countryside and farming. SP Manweb said it would keep all parties "fully informed".

The plans were accepted following the recommendation of the examination authority, which conducted a lengthy public inquiry into the application last year.

Action group Pylon the Pressure claimed the double wooden poles would be a blight on the countryside and affect farming operations.

'Visual impact'

They also raised concerns about the impact on the Grade II-listed farm complex at Berain, near Llannefydd.

But the examination authority said the visual impact on Berain over the power lines' 30-year lifetime would be minimal.

The energy secretary also agreed that the additional £16m cost to lay the cables underground would be disproportionate.

Pylon the Pressure group chairman Dyfrig Jones said they now plan to launch a legal bid within two weeks if they can raise the funds.

'Detailed planning'

Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies, who has supported the action group's campaign, said he was "disappointed" with the scheme's approval, adding it could impact "the visual amenity of the area".

In response, a spokesman for SP Energy Networks said it was "pleased with the decision... following four years of detailed planning and consultation".

"We will now work closely with our clients to develop a detailed programme of work, and we will continue to keep the local community and stakeholders fully informed," the spokesman added.

Work on the power lines is due to start later this year, with construction expected to be finished by the end of 2017.

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