THE battle to stop a powerline cutting across the Shropshire and Powys countryside will cost £150,000, officials have revealed.
National Grid’s proposal to erect a 50km powerline from the existing network at Lower Frankton to a proposed 800-turbine windfarm in Cefn Coch is currently the subject of a public inquiry after Powys County Council refused the 135-metre turbine applications.
It is expected to commence on June 4 and could take up to 40 weeks to be completed over an estimated 18-month period.
But the power company face tough opposition from ‘The Alliance’, a voluntary group formed by the 17 opposition organisations from both sides of the border. They say the windfarm will be a blot on the landscape, will damage business, travel and the economy, and are calling for more efficient energy sources to be found.
Door-to-door surveys carried out by Welsh community councils show around 88 per cent of people are against the windfarms and associated works.
Following the start of a pre-inquiry hearing last week, David Ward from The Alliance, said there was a lot of work and fundraising ahead.
Mr Ward, who is a member of opposition group Shropshire North Against Pylons (SNAP), commented: “We are the main opposition; we are putting more evidence forward than Powys County Council and Shropshire Council.
“This is an enormous undertaking for a voluntary group and we are not under any illusions, but we hope to get the job done.”
He continued: “I think we have got a good case. What it carries with the [planning] inspector is a matter for him. To a certain extent we are running to catch up, all the applications have a head start on us. But we have everything in place, now it is just a case of sticking at it.”
The Alliance is being represented at the hearing by a London barrister, with a landscape professional and several individuals as witnesses due to appear at the enquiry.
l Llanymynech representative, Councillor Arthur Walpole is due to put forward a motion to Shropshire Council’s full council meeting on Thursday requesting them to register the authority’s concerns over the impact the windfarm and powerline will have on communities.