CAMPAIGNERS fighting against a £13 million powerline that would cut through the Ceiriog Valley say plans to place an adjoining cable undergrown have given them hope.
SP Manweb lodged a planning application to place a section of an existing 33kv overhead line underground at Lower House Farm, Pen-Y-Bryn, in St Martins, to help facilitate the construction of a 132kv transmission line linking Oswestry’s substation with another at Legacy, Wrexham.
They believe the project will securing the future electricity supply to the 85,000 industrial and domestic customers along it.
However, residents in Pont-Y-Blew and Chirk had objected to energy giant’s multi-million pound scheme, saying it would have a detrimental impact on the area’s countryside and tourism industries.
At a public inquiry last November, they urged the energy giant to bury a 620 metre stretch at Tenement in the Ceiriog Valley.
But after hearing of the new application, Chirk town councillor, Jackie Allen, said: “It is positive if they can put a line underground. If they can put it underground at St Martins then why not put the line underground from Oswestry to Wrexham?”
Cllr Allen, who spoke on behalf of Chirk Town Council at last year’s four-week hearing, continued: “We still have not heard anything following the inquiry, but our objections still stand. That stretch of land is attractive, brings in tourists and we have fought hard to get the line put underground, so I hope some of the comments will be listed to otherwise the inquiry will have been a waste of time.
“It would be a big disappointment.”
The proposed route would see the line should travel east of Halton, going through the Glyn Morlas Valley and Ifton Heath before bisecting Gobowen and Henlle. It would then go underground near Park Hall and meet with the Oswestry sub-station on Whittington Road.
Currently, the decision on whether the scheme will go ahead lies with Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, based on a report compiled by Emyr Jones of the Planning Inspectorate following the public inquiry.
Shropshire Council is expected to make a decision regarding the current planning application by November 19.