Furious villagers are snubbing £5,000 compensation to allow giant 700ft-high pylons to be erected near their homes – vowing to fight plans for a sprawling wind farm.
Hundreds of locals have joined the battle against the plan, which include proposals for a 60-mile stretch of pylons cutting through the rolling Welsh hills.
The villagers fear the proposed 36 wind turbines – as tall as London‘s Shard building – and miles of pylons in the Nant Mithil Energy Park will forever ruin their views of the beauty spot.
Some have been offered cash payments to compensate living near the ‘monstrous’ structures – but say they will refuse the money.
The Barstow family run a campsite in the village of Hundred House, Powys, but fear for its future if the wind plans are successful.
The villagers fear the proposed 36 wind turbines and miles of pylons in the Nant Mithil Energy Park will ruin their views in a beauty spot part of the world
Hundreds of locals have joined the battle against the wind farm. Pictured are Will Barstow and Natalie Barstow who own Fforest Fields, Caravan & Camping Site and are opposing the plans
Villagers are snubbing £5,000 offers to allow giant 700ft-high wind turbines near their homes which they say will forever ruin the view of the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside (pictured)
Katie Barstow, 68, said: ‘The preferred line goes over our campsite lake and right in front of it.
‘That would mean 35 years of building up a business gone. People aren’t going to want to come and sit under a pylon and have a picnic.
‘They come to Mid Wales because it’s peaceful, because it’s quiet, because there’s nothing here and because of the unspoilt landscape.
‘We’ve worked incredibly hard to bring people to this area, to introduce them to what we have here in Mid Wales. They come now in their numbers and they’ll be devastated if this happens to their favourite place.’
Her daughter-in-law, mother-of-two Natalie, was also worried about the noise the turbines would make. The 43-year-old added: ‘All we’ve got to trade on is the great outdoors – that’s why people come here.
‘But will they still come if the campsite is surrounded by giant wind turbines and electricity pylons?’
The family’s Fforest Fields site is sheltered by a 350ft wooded hill, now destined to have 700ft wind turbines sitting along the top – almost as high as the Pen-Y-Fan mountain.
Natalie’s husband Will, 44, added: ‘Families are being torn apart by this and it has split communities.
Residents are up in arms over the new pylon plans which they say will blight the Welsh countryside (pictured is a protest sign outside the town of Builth Wells)
‘Some people have signed up to have a turbine on their land, others to have pylons. Their neighbours are furious about it, there is a lot of ill-feeling.
‘I’m not interested in compensation – how do you compensate for ruining one of the most beautiful parts of the UK?’
Another villager, who asked not to be named, said: ‘This isn’t just about ruining the view nearby – these are monstrous structures.
‘Surely it makes more sense to build these things out to sea and not in the middle of the countryside churning up land and destroying wildlife.’
More than 500 campaigners joined a public meeting at the Royal Welsh Showground earlier this year to oppose the plans by developers Bute Energy.
Conservative MP Fay Jones attended the public consultation and said she was ‘against’ the plans. A local Facebook group fighting the turbine proposals also has more than 650 members with villagers discussing ways to oppose the plans.
Ross Evans, of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, said: ‘Bute Energy, who have no experience and no assets in this field, are trying to become the biggest player in Wales.
More than 500 campaigners joined a public meeting at the Royal Welsh Showground earlier this year to oppose the plans by developers Bute Energy (pictured is a protest sign)
The turbines are 700ft and some would sit on hills 350ft high
‘They’ve gone in very heavy-handed and are trying to build their own transmission network through the backdoor.
‘They claim to have 25 per cent of people signed up although I sincerely doubt it – but it’s caused a level of anger in the community.’
Bute Energy insisted the new wind turbines would generate around 237MW of cleaner, green energy – which could power about 71,000 homes.
The firm said all feedback would be ‘carefully considered’ ahead of the next round of public consultation in early 2024.
A spokesman added: ‘Together, the projects will empower rural communities through investment, jobs and skills, enabling communities across Wales to live modern electric lives, and support the Welsh Government’s target for electricity to be 100 per cent renewable by 2035.
‘We know people have differing views on new infrastructure. But across Wales, there’s broad agreement that renewable energy has an important part to play in responding to the climate emergency.’
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