Grid will sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tion next year

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Gareth Wyn Wil­lians

CAM­PAIGN­ERS op­posed to more over­head py­lons be­ing built on An­gle­sey have been buoyed af­ter the Na­tional Grid re­vealed de­lays in its ap­pli­ca­tion to in­stall al­most 100 of the struc­tures across the is­land.

The Grid had been ex­pected to sub­mit its De­vel­op­ment Con­sent Or­der ( DCO) ap­pli­ca­tion to the Plan­ning In­spec­torate last month, but th­ese plans have been de­layed un­til Hori­zon sub­mit their plans for a new nu­clear plant - ex­pected to be dur­ing the first quar­ter of 2018.

The pro­pos­als for a new row of py­lons, con­nect­ing Wylfa Newydd to the sub­sta­tion at Pen­tir near Ban­gor, have proved to be a con­tro­ver­sial is­sue on the is­land.

El­wyn Evans of the NFU on An­gle­sey, pre­vi­ously warned that farm­ing un­der and around over­head pow­er­lines “poses con­sid­er­able op­er­a­tional dif­fi­cul­ties and ad­di­tional costs,” also rais­ing con­cerns over the im­pact on tourism and ef­forts to di­ver­sify into the field.

The is­land’s AM, MP and county coun­cil have also ar­gued in favour of sub-sea or un­der­ground op­tions as op­posed to a new row of over­head struc­tures.

Dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing held last week, mem­bers of the ‘An­gle­sey Says No to Py­lons’ group, said they will con­tinue the fight against the struc­tures.

The group’s chair, Dave Neal, said: “If the Grid is telling any­one, sug­gest­ing or im­ply­ing, that they have pow­ers un­der the Plan­ning Act 2008, to ac­cess land, then this is sim­ply not the case.

“Their project will only come un­der this leg­is­la­tion once it is agreed it is a Na­tion­ally Sig­nif­i­cant In­fra­struc­ture Project (NSIP).

“And we have it in writ­ing from both Na­tional Grid, and the Plan­ning In­spec­torate, that this is not yet the case.

“I sus­pect that now they have changed their sched­ule, due to the changes be­ing made by Hori­zon, there has been mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion within their team.”

But a spokesper­son for the Na­tional Grid, played down the de­lays in the ap­pli­ca­tion process.

“We al­ways planned to sub­mit our con­sent ap­pli­ca­tion to con­nect Hori­zon af­ter they have sub­mit­ted theirs. Now Hori­zon will sub­mit their ap­pli­ca­tion next year, we have de­cided to move ours back to align with their dates.”

A Hori­zon spokesman con­firmed that plans for a new nu­clear plant re­mained on track for the ‘ mid 2020’s’ but were us­ing the time to “seek fur­ther in­put from stake­hold­ers to en­sure a ro­bust, high qual­ity ap­pli­ca­tion.”

At the pub­lic meet­ing held at Tre-Ys­gawen Hall, the is­land’s MP was un­equiv­o­cal re­gard­ing his op­po­si­tion to more py­lons.

“I’m in favour of Wylfa Newydd but not of blight­ing our land­scape,” said Al­bert Owen.

“They (the Grid) have three re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, value for money, proper reg­u­la­tion and safety, but also li­ais­ing with com­mu­ni­ties and pro­tect­ing their en­vi­ron­ment.

“I think they’re fail­ing on that third op­tion and that’s why we have a strong case. Let’s take them on with a strong united voice and tell the Grid, ‘think again.”

Joy: Anti-py­lon pro­tes­tors

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