“A month ago we visited a Green GEN Cymru (Bute Energy) public consultation event in mid –Wales, and separately we’ve met staff for a briefing about the proposal: a new 90-km 132kv power-line supported by 27m steel lattice pylons from Radnorshire to Carmarthen,” Nigel Hollett says.
“It’s understandable that some landowners directly affected by the proposed new power-line have responded forcefully. They’re faced with permanent physical intervention on their property, and the permanent visual experience. The proposal, in principle, raises the expected questions about the exclusivity of property-rights, the value of privacy, and the level of compensation for the loss of both, and the compromise to productivity. In addition, it raises fresh questions about routeing the line to avoid certain places, and even more questions about the promise of meaningful local job-creation – and where community funding goes. For many some important matters apparently have been concluded prematurely. For example: the prospect of better, less invasive – more sustainable - physical options for the line - than thousands of tonnes of steel lattice pylons.”
“At the same time we have to consider that for some time the CLA – and other rural representative organisations – have raised awareness of the urgent need for easier and more economical access to the grid – notably to serve rural Wales’ huge potential for small, private renewable energy schemes, notably hydro, solar and small-scale wind. These issues were raised – not for the first time – in a report by the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee last year. The grid’s deficiencies have also emerged as an issue restraining rural productivity.”
“This is why we have said that government and the energy company need to work together to ensure that if the project goes ahead, the project delivers a real, felt and long-lasting boost to rural businesses. Economic development has been a driving principle for recent major road infrastructure projects in Wales. Similarly the rural community and the economy that is its life-blood needs to see long-term, tangible benefit: secure, permanent jobs for local people and procurement of local services, products and materials. This must take place alongside mitigation of the physical and visual impacts of the pipe-line.”
“Some landowners have been approached by the company’s agents, Bruton Knowles, requesting access for an initial survey. More are likely to be contacted as the energy company focus on the project in progressive sections. CLA Cymru is here to advise members with diverse business interests according to their individual needs or circumstances.”