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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  National Grid plc    NG.   GB00B08SNH34

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National Grid : Anglesey pylon wars with National Grid intensify

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12/03/2016 | 12:57pm CET

"Anglesey has never been so united", it was claimed during a public meeting against plans for a new row of overhead pylons being built across the island.

Some 38 of the island's 40 community councils oppose the National Grid's plans to connect the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant to the main network with both the AM and MP, as well as the county council, calling for the cables to be placed underground instead.

The Grid has already unveiled plans for a £100m underwater tunnel to avoid unsightly pylons across the Menai Strait, but has cited increased cost as a reason to avoid undergrounding the whole route from Cemaes to Pentir, near Bangor .

But a public meeting in Llangefni last night, saw both residents and political figures condemn the Grid for "not listening to the people of Anglesey."

Anglesey Council leader, Ieuan Williams, said: "We must fight the National Grid with a united voice, and there's a general feeling they are running roughshod over our views.

"The clear option should be to lay the cables underground, as is already happening in other european countries."

While Dafydd Idriswyn Roberts, chair of the Anglesey One Voice Wales pylon group, said: "The island is speaking with one voice, we simply don't want these overhead pylons. Anglesey has never been so united on a single issue, and its about time the National Grid accepted that."

The Grid also came under fire recently for spending up to £500m getting rid of eyesore pylons in the Lake District National Park, while planning to press ahead with unpopular plans to install more of them on Anglesey.

But while Arfon MP Hywel Williams and Anglesey's Albert Owen both sent messages of support due to being unable to attend Friday's meeting, the AM gave an update on discussions with a Government body that could influence the Grid's ultimate decision.

During a meeting with the head of the energy regulator, Ofgem, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM asked him to step in and stop a new row of pylons being built.

Dermot Nolan of Ofgem, which sets the rules for major power transmission projects, was also asked to recognize the cost Anglesey was being asked to pay to provide the rest of the UK with the cheapest possible transmission option.

After the meeting, the AM said: "Whilst Dermot Nolan couldn't give the assurance we need, he listened and clearly heard the message. He made it clear that he has the power to ask National Grid to think again.

"All I'm asking is that National Grid is given the permission to spend more – to make the necessary investment, as they are doing elsewhere.

"The Grid recently announced it'll spend hundreds of millions of pounds undergrounding cables in the Lake District and other National Parks.

"Well, Anglesey deserves no less. I know we're not a National Park, but we are a UNESCO Geopark, and are blessed with areas of outstanding natural beauty."

Mr ap Iorwerth also argued that individuals were paying through the value of their homes, and that the tourism industry in particular, worth £250m a year to the island, was under threat.

As a result, Mr Nolan also agreed to demand a more in-depth assessment of how much the pylons would cost Anglesey in terms of tourism and other sectors.

But according to the National Grid, an undergroud connection would cost £1.13bn compared to around £550m for the pylons, following broadly the same route as the existing pylons connecting the former Magnox plant to the main network.

Their consultation on the proposals closes on December 16, with Anglesey's Councillors set to hold a special meeting to discuss their own response on Monday, December 12.

The Grid's senior project manager, Gareth Williams, said: "This is likely to be our last consultation so it's really important people come and talk to us and give us as much detailed feedback as they can.

"We're really keen for as many people as possible to come and see us, and we have a number of larger events in community halls, a consultation vehicle and pop up events."

Share your views about this story using the comment section below.

© Copyright 2016 Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald , All Rights Reserved., source Newspapers

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