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Welsh Liberal Democrats

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Welsh Liberal Democrat response to National Grid announcement

July 31, 2012 10:16 AM

Following the National Grid's announcement today, William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Environment, commented:

"There are no winners from today's announcement, although there will of course be a natural sense of relief in the village of Abermule and other communities across the route of the potential Southern Corridor. After so many stressful months of waiting and several postponements, it is an incredibly difficult day for many communities in Montgomeryshire and North Shropshire,

"This decision is certain to have a huge negative impact on many people, therefore I think is it vitally important that those who stand to be affected take time to reflect on the options available to them. In any event, there must be a comprehensive compensation package for landowners, businesses and communities affected by today's announcement.

"The cost of undergrounding cables, in comparison with pylons, has previously been hugely overestimated by developers. This is supported by independent research, commissioned by the Infrastructure Planning Commission. With this is mind, it is essential that there is a maximum level of undergrounding to ensure that environmental damage upon the local landscape is minimised - vital for local people and businesses. Over time, the Scottish Government has been proactive in promoting the cause of undergrounding, and I call upon the Welsh Government to play its part to ensure the people of Mid Wales are not treated as second best.

"I believe that is crucial that the support papers that have underpinned this decision are made available for public scrutiny. The people whose lives will inevitably be affected by today's announcement must be able to access this vital information to better understand how the conclusions of today's national grid announcement were reached."