In 2005, the Welsh Labour Govt decided on a policy of building a huge number of wind farms in Mid Wales. It was claimed that this was because Mid Wales is a windy place. My view was that the Labour Assembly Govt at the time was uncaring about landscape, and uncaring about mid Wales. I vowed to do what I could to stop it. It took ten years.
What has angered me most has been the deception. We were not being told a new 400kv power line would be needed - a line dedicated to wind farms, which would mean another 500 turbines as well as the pylons. Peter Ogden of the CPRW explained all this to me in 2005. Horrified I was. Even 3 years ago, First Minister, Carwyn Jones was publicly claiming the line would not be needed. And when he capitulated to the developers, and changed his mind, he tried telling us the line was needed to support the economy.
Anyway, after all sorts of angst and despair, protests and marches, we ended up years later with a conjoined public inquiry into 5 wind farms and a new 32kv line from Kerry to Welshpool. Today, the Secretary of State refused permission for 4 wind farms and the 32kv power line. And the one wind farm she did approve looks dead in the water. Now that is one hell of a result.
I should feel vindicated and happy. But I don't. So much customers money has been wasted - probably £20 million by National Grid alone. The Council has spent £2million to defend their decisions Communities have been divided. The farming industry has been divided. Families too. People have contacted me, terrified by National Grid heavies. Scottish Power has blown a stack of money as well. It's been like something out of a horror film, where the world is taken over by some alien force.
Today, I sense it's the end of this nightmare. We have a UK Govt which puts a value on landscape. Mid Wales is not just a dumping ground. We have saved the wondrous land we Montgomeryshire folk call home. We will pass it on to the next generation - the legacy our predecessors passed on to us. For me today has been a great day. Rejoice my friends, Rejoice.