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Subject: Pylon threat to Heart of Wales
From: Huw Garan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Wed, 29 Mar 1995 23:11:31 +0100
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Ymddiheiriadau i bawb a gafodd y fersiwn Gymraeg o'r llythyr hwn neu a'i
dderbyniodd oddi wrth rhestr arall ond rwy am i'r neges gyraedd pawb.
[sorry about the length, and to everyone who read the Welsh version of this let-
ter or who got it from another list but I want this to reach everyone.]
 
 I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this to, but since Celtic-L is
a discussion group about Wales and other Celtic matters...
 Some of you may have heard about SWALEC (South Wales electricity company)'s
plan to build a hydro-electric power station by Llyn Brianne in the north of
the beautiful and still largely unspoilt Towy valley in South Wales.  The area
is already an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Site of Special Scientific
Interest and is in the middle of a proposed National Park.  The area is also
the only remaining home in Britain of the Red Kite, a rare and extremely
beautiful bird; there are 3 bird and nature reserves within a 12 mile radius of
the dam.
 Local residents have no objection to the proposed scheme, as it will provide
cheap and clean electricity for the area.  What they do object to, and formed a
protest commitee to oppose, is the plan to put double poles, nearly twice the
height of conventional telegraph poles down through the valley to carry the 33
kV cables (conventional cables are 11 kV) the 11 miles or so from the dam to a
sub station in Llandovery.
 This plan was  adopted by SWALEC with no consideration for the ecology of the
area, for the effect on wildlife (buzzards, kites and peregrinnes are all
native in the area as well as several species of rare plant), with no
consideration for the strength of local opinion, with no consideration for
anything other than money and their shareholders' dividends.
 Dinefwr Borough Council (the local authority) voted to recommend the plan to
Michael Heseltine, Chairman of the Board of Trade, who has the final decision,
and parliment need know nothing of his decision.
 When the dam was built provision was made to raise the level of the water by
some 30 ft, which would generate more electricity.  If this were done the 33kV
lines would not be enough to carry the current and no planning permission would
be needed to replace the wooden poles with giant metal pylons.
 An interim report, which was not released to the press recommended burying the
cables underground, but this was later rejected on grounds of cost (it would
have added variously a few hundred thousand pounds or 4 million, according to
which SWALEC report you read to the final cost).
 The purpose of this posting is to ask everyone to write to their M.P. or to
Michael Heseltine, Chairman of the Board of Trade, Alan Williams, M.P. for Car-
marthen and/or Cynog Dafis, M.P. for Ceredigion and winner of the 'green riband'
for his contribution to environmental issues, expressing concern at the
proposed plan and asking for a public enquiry, or if SWALEC can't be forced to
bury the cables, for the whole plan to be scrapped and restarted.
 I should perhaps declare a vested interest in this matter: my house overlooks
the exact path of the propsed poles and I would much rather not have my view
ruined by pylons.
 
Thanks to everyone who responds to this.
 
Pob Hwyl
Huw
Huw Garan ([log in to unmask])

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