Pylon protests over

Reporter:

Andrew Martin

The fight to stop overhead cables being erected across parts of rural Conwy and Denbighshire is over.

Members of the Pylon the Pressure action group have accepted defeat in their long-running battle against the proposal by SP Manweb.

The company plans to erect 17 kilometres of cables linking two windfarms near Clocaenog with a sub-station at Glascoed, near St Asaph.

There were originally four windfarms planned but two of them were subsequently shelved.

The scheme was given the go-ahead by Energy Secretary Greg Clark following a public examination 18 months ago when objections were lodged by landowners , environmentalists, both county councils and politicians.

The Pylon the Pressure group raised sufficient funds for a judicial review but following a hearing at Llangefni in April, the presiding judge, Mr Justice Lewis, ruled that Mr Clark had applied the relevant policies when approving the plans.

The main thrust of the action group’s campaign was the impact the scheme would have on the grade two-listed farm complex of Berain, near Llannefydd, which was the home of Katheryn of Berain, a descendant of Henry VII.

She became known as Mam Cymru (The Mother of Wales).

They argued that the cables and 18 pylons on the land would not only be a blight on the landscape but also interfere with farming operations, and so wanted the cables to be laid underground.

John Mars-Jones, who farms at Berain, part of which date from the 14th century, and is proud of its heritage, sought a second legal opinion on the ruling and now accepts that the fight can be taken no further.

“The advice we received was that our legal case was not strong enough to justify carrying on, so we have to accept that,” he said.

“It is disappointing and I don’t feel that we have had a fair hearing throughout, but at least we have tried.”

The deadline for objections to the ruling passed five weeks ago and now SP Manweb has already begun work.

New gates have been erected to gain access to some of the land along the route and a depot for the project is being established at Broadleys Farm near Denbigh.

Email:

andrew.martin@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Free Press

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