THE PRIME Minister has pledged to stop future government funding to windfarm projects including the delayed inquiry and to give local people the final say – if he is re-elected today.
David Cameron visited Crickhowell on Wednesday when he was quizzed over the delay of any announcement on the results of the Mid Wales Conjoined Wind Farm Inquiry which could see five windfarms built across Powys with each consisting of between 17 and 65 turbines up to 450 feet tall.
The five proposed windfarms, which were the subject of a year long planning inquiry, are proposed to be built at Llandinam, Carnedd Wen, Llaithddu, Llanbrynmair and Llanbadarn Fynydd.
Despite planning inspector Andrew Poulter handing his recommendations to Secretary of State Ed Davey back on December 8, a decision was made to delay any decision until after this week’s General Election.
Mr Cameron pledged to stop the windfarm project and any other on-shore windfarms within Montgomeryshire if he was elected to take a second term in Government.
He said: “You would have to ask the environment secretary who took that decision and that was a decision for him.
“However, I want to make it clear that if there is a Conservative Government in place we will remove all subsidy for on-shore wind and local people should have a greater say.
“Frankly I think we have got enough on-shore wind and we have enough to be going on with, almost 10 per cent of our electricity needs, and I think we should give local people a say if they want to block these sorts of projects.
“The only way to stop more on-shore wind is to vote Conservative there is no other party with this policy. We are saying very clearly we would remove the subsidy and give local people the power to say yes or no.
“This would end the growth of on-shore wind and if that’s what you care about you must vote Conservative.”
n Last month a leaked report by the Sunday Telegraph suggested that the inquiry’s planning inspector had advised for three of the five wind turbines to be approved.
Glyn Davies, Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, welcomed the delay of the inquiry result but said he was shocked if the report had been leaked.
He said: “I would be shocked if the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, or anyone else at DECC, were to have ‘leaked’ to the Sunday Telegraph any decision on the Public Inquiry into windfarms in Mid Wales.
“I’m not in a position to confirm the accuracy or otherwise of the report.
“It would be most improper. This is about the future of Mid Wales, not some grubby political game.
“All I do know is that the inspector’s report was delivered to the Secretary of State on December 8 and that normally a decision could have been expected in early March.
“We also know that DECC has announced that a decision has been delayed for a new Government to decide in early summer.
“I would be disappointed if any of the windfarms are approved but if the Sunday Telegraph report is correct, it would be another big blow to the windfarm developers in Mid Wales in that two of the biggest windfarms would be refused permission.
“Such refusals would further undermine the horribly destructive proposal by National Grid to build a line of massive pylons from North Shropshire to Cefn Coch in Montgomeryshire.
“I have argued that any decision should be delayed, to allow a Secretary of State – other than Liberal Democrat Ed Davey – to consider it.
“If I am re-elected MP for Montgomeryshire, I will seek a further careful consideration of this wind farms/power lines project. It’s financial and environmental madness. It should be abandoned.”
If all five windfarms are approved National Grid has proposed to build a 33-mile pylon route – eight miles of which will be underground from Cefn Coch to near Oswestry – to connect the power generated by the windfarms to the national power grid.