Local politicians welcome Green Gen pylon route change but call for more to be done

Local politicians have welcome the news that Green Gen have altered their Towy Usk pylon route to underground a small portion of it, but have continued calls to underground the entire project.

This week, Green Gen announced that a small portion of the route, near Llanegwad and Llanarthne, will now be placed underground. In a statement, they confirmed that:

“Following the first round of consultation in spring 2023 where we asked people for their views on our preferred route for Green GEN Towy Usk, we re-examined our preferred route from an environmental, technical, and economic perspective to see if we could make changes based on the feedback received and our own further assessments and site visits… Following this work, we identified a draft route alignment (including potential pole and pylon positions) within the reviewed preferred route.

The draft route alignment takes account of the feedback we received from communities and stakeholders, and includes consideration of biodiversity, the landscape and views, cultural heritage, woodlands, flood risk, geology and soils, other land uses, and technical needs.”

Since the pylon route was first announced in 2023, there has been significant opposition from locals effected by the proposed route, and from local politicians who have repeatedly called for the pylons to be placed underground.

Following the announcement, Adam Price, Member of the Senedd for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr said:

“I’m pleased that Green Gen have finally recognised that undergrounding is an option for the Towy Usk pylon route.

The announcement shows the influence that we can have over this process, and I will continue to call for the entire project to be undergrounded so that the beauty of the Tywi Valley remains protected.

Cefin Campbell, Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales added:

Earlier this month in the Senedd, upon challenging the First Minister, he confirmed that Welsh Government policy continues to be that “electricity transmission cables should be placed underground where possible”.

Whilst I welcome Green Gen Cymru’s proposal to underground a short stage of the route near Llanarthne, I will continue to make the case that undergrounding should be the preferred method along the route – learning from best practice elsewhere in the UK and Europe.”

Cllr Ann Davies, who represents Llanddarog and is the Plaid Cymru candidate for Caerfyrddin, concluded:

Over the past year I've attended public meetings with groups along the proposed route, and the message has been clear - these cables need to be placed underground.

This latest development is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to ensure consideration further along the route, particularly in the beautiful Tywi Valley area.”

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