Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid)

Enquiry received via email

Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid)

09 May 2011
Andy Mason


would like to object to the power proposals for Mid Wales on the following points below. This exercise has in my opinion been a desktop one. No-one has probably visited the area to see the massive implications that the power plans will bring to the area.
· The feedback forms are deliberately divisive, we do not want these proposals for anyone.
· The government were consulted by TAN 8 in 2005, why are the public only being consulted quickly now?
· There are no tick box options for ?none of the options are acceptable?.
· There is no suggestion to write in separately if you are unhappy with all proposals, misleading people to think they have to follow the form procedure.
· The consultation exercise has commenced before National Grid has established the true costs of undergrounding the cables (they are presently paying KEMA to conduct a costing report) but it is not yet finished.
· The community consultations commenced before SSE Renewables were ready to attend the events, thus they had no representatives present to discuss their proposals at Abermule or many other events.
· Only communities where the power lines will run have been consulted. Anyone going about their normal lives and passing through or by the corridor routes was not informed, and yet WILL be affected.
· Poor consultation ? misrepresentation of the facts. No photos or photo-montages of hub or pylons at Abermule consultation or at following consultation events. No opportunity to view alternative sites, removed from web site and not at exhibitions. Scale of maps in
· National Grid and SP Manweb failed to provide sufficient information on their websites before the community consultation meetings commenced. The web site was continually being updated over the first week of the consultation starting.
· The representatives manning some of the community exhibitions were too few and were unable to answer many of the questions posed to them by people attending the events. It was also noted that staff gave different answers at different exhibitions.
· Only one event per village...some of the exhibitions ran in Easter School Holidays and over bank holidays, meaning you may have missed your village?s consultation and opportunity to speak directly with SPEN and National Grid staff.
· The consultation has coincided with the WAG?s recess making it difficult to discuss these issues with County Councillors, PCC, and other parties, during this time.
· The proposed routes only cover options for wind farms currently in planning. There is no indication given of routes for future lines, as National Grid currently have applications for two further lines, but these are not mentioned in proposals.
· The hub has been future-proofed for future capacity, but this has not been mentioned in documents.
· The consultation is very complicated for general public as so much information to understand and absorb.
· The maps provided do not have the route numbers marked on them to cross reference to the consultation form.
· The maps provided in Route Strategy are of too small a scale to give clear detail.
· Don?t save as much CO2 as suggested ? peat destruction releases C02
· Won?t prevent need for conventional backup
· Massive environmental visual impact, not considered by TAN 8
· Unfair burden on WALES (40% of landscape visually blighted by turbines, power lines and hub)
· Threat to tourism and knock on effect on local economy
· Costing UK government and electricity consumers billions of pounds in subsidies in times of government cut backs, rising inflation, and fuel poverty
· Will do little to address energy security problems as wind is unreliable and inefficient
· Unacceptable number of abnormal loads and thousands of other highways movements over several years of construction
· Reduction in property value, no compensation offered
· Removal of large areas of peat for ?Olympic pool size? foundations will increase flooding issues downstream
· Health risks being ignored ? flicker, noise, mental health issues, etc
PYLONS.....Only needed because of wind farms
· Massive environmental and visual impact, not considered by TAN 8
· Huge impact on wildlife
· Reluctance to consider undergrounding lines as not cost-effective.
· EMF health risks ? precautionary approach is not being taken
· Threat to tourism and economy ? B&B?s, caravan parks, pubs, shops, towns.
· Huge loss of power during transmission of electricity because of distance to UK supergrid
· Even greater losses of power along 132kV system that 400kV system per km length because of lower voltage
· Greater overall lengths of 132kV and 400kV lines because hub is not located close enough to the wind farms Strategic Search Areas
· Ancient Kerry Ridgeway and historic hill fort destroyed by nearby lines
· Unacceptable volume of construction traffic, thousands of abnormal and lorry loads
· Reduction in property value, no compensation offered or unsellable
HUB......Only needed because of wind farms
· Visually obtrusive
· EMF health risks ? precautionary approach is not being taken
· Hub at Abermule is too close to large residential community
· Transport issues have not been identified or addressed. How will the 220 tonne abnormal loads (transformer) get to the remote hills of Cefn Coch or to Abermule over a listed bridge?
· Huge numbers of normal HGV movements during construction have not been identified.
· Reduction in property value, no compensation offered or unsellable
· Poor consultation ? misrepresentation of the facts. (No photos of hub or pylons at Abermule Consultation) No opportunity to view alternative sites, removed from web site and not at exhibitions.

Advice given

The National Grid Mid Wales Connections and SPEN Mid Wales Connections projects are currently at the 'pre-application' stage of our process, as set out in the Planning Act 2008. During the pre-application stage, there is a duty on the developer to undertake consultation with people living in the vicinity of the proposed project, and to have regard to responses to that consultation. In order for comments to be taken into account at this stage, comments and responses should be directed to National Grid as the developer of the project.
The IPC's role at the pre-application stage is to provide advice about the process of making an application, or the process of making a representation about an application. Whilst we are happy to be copied in on any comments you make to the developer, we are unable to provide legal opinions or comment on the merits of the scheme or national policy. This ensures the impartiality of the IPC and protects the interests of all parties involved in the application process. All advice that we give is recorded via an advice log, in line with s.51 of the Planning Act 2008. This log is published on our website. attachment 1
With the above in mind, may I therefore suggest that the queries set out in your letter are raised directly with the promoters of the Mid Wales Connection schemes where appropriate. The National Grid project team can be contacted on 0800 019 5325 or by email at national [email protected] There is also a project website;
attachment 2
The SPEN project team can be contacted on 0800 988 9174 or by email at: [email protected] There is also a project website: www.spmidwalesconnections.info.
Your local council also plays a role in the process at the pre-application stage and we would encourage you to copy to the council any comments you send to the developer at the pre-application stage. Further information on this and how you can be involved in the developers? consultation is detailed in advice note 8.2, this can be found at: attachment 3.
Once the pre-application consultation duties are complete, the developer may submit an application to the Commission. The Commission has 28 days to decide whether to accept the application to proceed to the examination stage. This decision is based on whether, amongst other matters, the pre-application consultation has been adequate. When making a decision on whether the pre-application consultation has been adequate, the Commission will have regard to:
· National Grid?s consultation report;
· Any comments on the adequacy of consultation submitted by relevant Local Authorities; and
· The extent to which National Grid have followed the guidance published by the Commission and the Secretary of State.
If an application is accepted for examination by the Infrastructure Planning Commission, you are able to become directly involved in the examination of an application. A suite of advice notes has been published providing information on how and when members of the public can become involved in the planning process and have their say. In particular, advice note 8.3 provides information on how to register and make a written representation. This can be found at: attachment 3.

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