Rhun ap Iorwerth urges First Minister to intervene in Grid’s pylon plans

Plaid Cymru’s Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth has called on First Minister Carwyn Jones in one of the final acts of his premiership to act and speak out to the Planning Inspectorate and Ofgem to insist National Grid reconsider their pylons plans for the island.

Grid’s plans would involve building 100 new pylons spanning Anglesey, as well as a tunnel to take electricity cables under the Menai Strait. Mr ap Iorwerth has been a vocal campaigner against both a new row of pylons and the costly tunnel option.

He supports an undergrounding or under-sea option, and argues that £200-£300m for the tunnel would be better spent on placing cables on a new Menai crossing, subsidising the dualling of the Britannia Bridge.

In First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday afternoon, Mr ap Iorwerth said:

“A constituent from Star, Gaerwen, was in tears on the phone with my office yesterday, very distressed because of National Grid’s plans for a second row of pylons – that’s the prevailing feeling on Anglesey.

“Grid, of course, are still going against the wishes of the island’s people, the island’s elected representatives and this National Assembly by insisting on going ahead with developing another row of pylons across Anglesey.

“I called on the First Minister, in his final days in office, to contact the Planning Inspectorate and encourage them to reject permission for these pylons, and also write to Ofgem – as I have done recently – to insist that Grid give serious consideration to putting cables on the new bridge across the Menai instead of spending £200m on a new tunnel under the Menai.

“It would save money for Welsh Government in securing co-investment for the bridge, and save money for Grid, which could then be invested in undergrounding any new connection on Anglesey.”