Grid will submit application next year
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