Environment and Sustainability Committee
Inquiry into Energy Policy and Planning in Wales

EPP 34 – Ken Whitmore


Dear Sirs,

would like to reply to the following petitions, 

1. No to TAN8 wind farms & high voltage lines spoiling our communities

Tan 8 is an out of date policy. It has total disregard to the communities that it will effect. Taking windfarms and the associated infastructure that is required as an example. In Mid Wales some of the proposed sites are within upland bog areas. These bog areas act as a sponge to help limit the flow of rainwater into the river Severn. The large concrete bases which the turbines sit on will result in some of these bog areas being destoryed. The net result will be that more rainwater run off will enter the Severn and as a result more substantial flooding could occur in towns further down stream.

Other sites are proposed in large forest areas. Large amounts of woodland will have to be felled to accommodate them and thus alter the mid wales landscape for future generations. These, and the upland areas are important habitats for wild life and should be protected and not destroyed. After all there is growing proof that wind turbines are inefficient and unreliable.

If all the proposed wind farms are allowed to be built then the infastructure necessary will have an adverse impact on the whole of Mid Wales and neighbouring Shropshire. The National Grid are proposing to install a 20 acre plus substation and a large quantity of pylons. The Hub could possibly be located near to a thriving community. If this is allowed then the community will be devistated -  house values will plumit, schools could close and tourists cease to visit. The risk to health would also cause concern. There is growing proof that there are health risks living near to pylons and presumably electrical hubs. Even though its being denied by National Grid the general public are still concerned and this concern can lead to health issues such as depression, anxiety etc. If there becomes clusters of poor health around the Hub and pylon routes then the health care and compensation costs could be masssive.

The proposed pylon routes will also have an adverse impact on the countryside they pass through and are likely to reduce the number of visitors to the area. Mid Wales relies on tourism (approx £650 million a year) and if this goes ahead companies will struggle to continue and indeed jobs could be lost. Again as with the Hub house values around the pylon routes will fall and possibly local families will be plunged into financial difficulties i.e. negative equity, unable to re-mortgage etc.

2. Transport of wind turbines in mid Wales

Little thought has been put into how the large loads will be transported to the wind farm sites and the hub locations. The current road netwrok is inadequate for such loads. The period in which these abnormal loads will be traveling on the local road netwrok will be upto five years plus. This will cause transport problems for other local industry and tourists visiting or passing through the area. Such vehciles could also affect the emergency services dealing with emergencies.

Thank you

Ken Whitmore