Mid Wales Connection Project

In March 2011 National Grid first announced its Mid Wales Connection Project for a 50km 400kV overhead electricity connection on 50m pylons from Cefn Coch in mid Wales to the existing grid at Lower Frankton between Oswestry and Ellesmere.  The need for the project was to connect proposed wind farms in mid-Wales to the nearest point on the national electricity main-line grid. The proposed route passes through part of our Parish across the river Morda near Maesbrook. There were a series of public meetings, including ones addressed by the then Leader of Shropshire Council, Keith Barrow, and by Owen Paterson MP for North Shropshire, and then Secretary of State for Environment.  In its official response to National Grid's public consultation in June 2011, Shropshire Council recognised that National Grid is required to connect new windfarms to the network but said that the council would object to any overhead line solution, which it considered to be significantly detrimental to the county's visitor economy.

The Parish Council responded to relevant consultations and also agreed to assist with communication and coordination between local Parish Councils to support SNAP (Shropshire North Against Pylons), which then became a part of the "Alliance" of groups who joined together to take part in the Mid Wales Windfarms Conjoined Public Inquiry (CPI), which was held in Welshpool from June 2013 to May 2014.  This Inquiry involved five windfarms, four of which were part of National Grid's MWC project.  Its initial result was announced in September 2015 when all four were refused permission.  At that point National Grid's MWC project, which was at an advanced stage, including 8km of undergrounding near Meifod, was suspended. The project is still on the National Infrastructure Planning website at Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid) | National Infrastructure Planning (planninginspectorate.gov.uk) but the National Grid website for the project is no longer available.

The largest two of the four windfarms refused at the CPI appealed their decisions, which were then quashed, and became subject to re-determination. However, one then withdrew its original application in February 2020. Its press release at the time said that only taller turbines were now viable and that it would progress detailed feasibility studies for a potential revised layout.  There are no statutory timescales within which the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has to re-determine the remaining application, leaving an uncertain position.