Mid Wales

Powys substation and pylons decision delayed again

Electricity pylons
Image caption The National Grid says it needs more time to make a decision on its proposals

Plans to announce where a controversial electricity substation and high voltage power lines could be built in Powys have been delayed again.

The National Grid was expected to reveal the location later this month, but officials say they need more time.

Two sites at Cefn Coch, near Llanfair Caereinion, and Abermule, near Newtown, have been suggested for the substation.

Pylons or underground cables are also planned to carry electricity to the transmission network in Shropshire.

The National Grid announced its preferred locations for the 19 acre (7.6ha) substation more than a year ago.

But protesters claim it is the fourth time the announcement of where it is planned to be built has been delayed.

National Grid project manager Jeremy Lee said: "We are giving careful attention to a wide range of factors to ensure that we make the most appropriate choice.

"Feedback from the consultation, the potential effects of our work on the local area, the proposed connections to the substation, and our responsibilities to develop a connection that is safe, reliable and cost effective are all being considered."

The National Grid has argued that the electricity infrastructure needs upgrading in mid Wales to cope with planned new, more powerful wind farms.

But the proposals have led to several protests and public meetings in Powys and Shropshire, while opposition to planned wind farms in mid Wales has grown.

"The complexity of the project and the nature of the landscape in Powys and Shropshire makes balancing all of these various requirements very challenging, which is why we are giving the final choice such careful consideration," added Mr Lee.

"We fully understand that people will be frustrated that this is taking longer than we anticipated, but we are working hard to complete our work and will confirm the selection of substation and route corridor as soon as we possibly can."

Montgomeryshire AM Russell George criticised the delay.

"It has being drawn out far longer than it needs to be and these delays are just increasing local people's concerns and anxieties," he said.

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