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Outcry as leaked documents confirm plan to erect huge pylons across Wales

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CPRW, The Welsh Countryside Charity, have told The Herald that they have been shown a leaked document from Bute Energy confirming that they plan to connect their projects across Wales with an extensive pylon network stretching across Wales.

The Welsh Countryside Charity have asked Bute Energy repeatedly to come clean on their plans on how they intend to connect their proposed wind farm projects, like Nant Mithil in the Radnor Forest to the National Grid, fearing a network of transmission cables and pylons stretching across the countryside.

Now, CPRW have been shown a leaked document from Bute Energy that has been sent to landowners across Wales talking about their plans to construct a transmission network from New Radnor, on the border with England in Mid-Wales, to the National Grid connection at Pont Abraham in Carmarthenshire!

Ross Evans, Spokesperson for the Countryside Charity, says that this plan will scar the landscape as much as any wind farm:

“These plans leaked from Bute Energy confirm our worst fears! Connecting any of the plethora of proposed projects in rural Wales was going to be at best a challenge, given that the Minister, Julie James, has said that the National Grid in Mid Wales is not-fit-for purpose*, but building a transmission network across huge swathes of scenic countryside is simply unacceptable!”

“This would leave a huge 60+ mile long transmission cable and pylons across the heart of Wales. Meanwhile, the National Grid are in the process of burying transmission cables in Gwynedd as they have accepted that they are an eyesore.” said Evans.

THE NATIONAL GRID

In the UK, the National Grid are responsible for constructing the energy transmission network. So, it is unclear how Bute Energy are proposing to build this new “network” says CPRW’s spokesperson: “This is not the first time an energy company has claimed something that is outside the realms of their remit, but the fact Bute Energy have put these claims down in writing has worrying implications.

“We would be very interested to know what both the Welsh Government and the National Grid think about these proposals!” said Evans.

CONCERN ACROSS WALES

The Welsh Countryside Charity has been inundated with calls from concerned members of the public who have received these letters from Bute Energy over the last few days, many of which have been accompanied by proposals to “sign up” to the project.

“A community group in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire wrote to us today stating that they have received letters from Bute Energy and Bruton Knowles concerning their plans to connect the Nant Mithil wind farm project to the national grid.

“The letters initially went to all residents in a 4 km corridor and then followed up, they believe, to a further 12 landowners in our area to “conduct surveys” for the installation of 27-metre-high pylons through their community. We are urging everyone to consult a solicitor before signing the agreements.” Said Evans.

“This letter raises a lot of concern and a lot of questions that NEED answering!” He added.

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News

Haverfordwest interchange: Next stage of £19m project backed

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The second stage of building Haverfordwest’s near-£19m transport interchange has been backed, with senior councillors hearing it could cost the council more to not support it.

The transport interchange, which includes an integrated bus station and construction of a new multi-storey car park, is part of a wider series of regeneration projects in the county town.

The total cost of the scheme in the approved budget is £18.881m, £1.987m from Pembrokeshire County Council; the remainder, £16.894m, from an already-awarded Welsh Government grant.

To date, £3.425m has been spent on advanced works, including the demolition of the old multi-storey car park and a temporary bus station.

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, meeting on April 22, were recommended to approve the award of the Stage 2 construction contract for the Haverfordwest Transport Interchange.

The report for members listed two simple options for Cabinet, to authorise the award of a contract, recommended, or to not.

For the latter it warned: “It is envisaged Welsh Government will withdraw the funding awarded and the council would need to repay grants received to date; £10.322m has been received to date of which £3.376m has been offset against expenditure.”

It added: “Cost to cease this project could cost PCC more in terms of grant repayment and any capital work required to make good. PCC match contribution for the project is forecast as £1.987m of the £18.881m.”

Planning permission for the interchange was granted in 2022, with a temporary bus station constructed that year and the old multi-storey building demolished in 2023.

That year, members of the county council’s Cabinet agreed a temporary car park will be sited on the demolished remains of the old multi-storey car park until the Haverfordwest Public Transport Interchange – delayed as no compliant tender had been found at the time – is built.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Leader Cllr Paul Miller said: “The interchange is an important part of the regeneration of Haverfordwest, it will not regenerate Haverfordwest on its own, it is part of a wider process. The alternative to us being engaged is we simply allow it to decline and fail.”

He said the interchange was about “making it easier to visit Haverfordwest,” making parking provision “really straightforward, making it easy and convenient as possible”.

Cllr Miller said not progressing with the scheme would risk the grants already obtained, meaning the council could potentially foot the bill for costs to date, at a greater level than progressing.

He said the cost options were a near-£2m subsidised council involvement for the whole scheme or the £3m-plus spent to date if the scheme was ended, which would leave the car park as it is now.

“It’s pretty reasonable that if they give us the money and we don’t build a transport interchange they’ll be looking for that money back,” Cllr Miller said.

He said previous figures from parking revenue – back in 2019 – amounted to £100,000 a year; and could be expected to at least double on a “like-for-like” basis following the increase in parking charges.

Members, after a private and confidential session over the actual contract details, agreed to proceed with the scheme, awarding the contract to Kier Construction Western and Wales.

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Charity

RNLI prepare for summer with medical training exercise in Pembrokeshire

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RNLI lifeguards from the north Pembrokeshire team, volunteers from St Davids RNLI and St Davids Coastguard Rescue Team came together at Whitesands beach on Thursday (18 April), for a multi-agency medical training exercise. Pembrokeshire RNLI lifeguards and St Davids volunteer lifeboat crew took part in a multi-agency medical training exercise alongside St Davids Coastguard Rescue Team in preparation for the upcoming summer season.

The Coastal Medicine programme was set up six years ago at the suggestion of clinicians from Hywel Dda University Health Board. The aim of the programme is train lifeguards, lifeboat crews and HM Coastguard teams in working collaboratively when responding to medical incidents on the coast.

Clinicians from Hywel Dda work with RNLI staff to design exercises simulating mass-casualty incidents on land and afloat. The exercises allow lifeguards, lifeboat crews and Coastguard teams to practise and test their rescue response and casualty care.

The simulated incident at Whitesands involved a medical incident at sea leading to a boat going out of control and ploughing through a group of swimmers causing multiple injuries. RNLI lifeguards responded to casualties on the beach while St Davids inshore and all-weather lifeboat crews dealt with the situation at sea. St Davids Coastguard Rescue supported RNLI colleagues as they would in a real-life scenario.

In total there were six casualties to treat, all of whom were given the immediate medical care by the teams on scene. As in a real-life scenario, they were then prepared to be handed over to the care of the Ambulance Service.

Roger Smith, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager said: ‘The scenario was based on a real-life incident, it’s so important that we train in dealing with challenging situations.

‘The RNLI lifeguards, lifeboat crew, and the Coastguard rescue team worked really well together collaborating together to achieve the best possible result.

‘The feedback from all the participants was really positive, and our medical colleagues were very complimentary about the competence shown and the inter-agency co-operation.

‘This scenario training gives confidence to our lifeguards and lifeboat crews, and ensures the teamwork and communication is already in place ready for real-life incidents.’

Martin Charlton, an RNLI lifeguard in north Pembrokeshire said:

‘Last night’s exercise was a great opportunity for me and my colleagues on the lifeguard team to upskill ahead of the summer season.

‘We regularly attend incidents in the season that require a multi-agency response. These scenarios are a brilliant opportunity to prepare for the the most challenging situations.

‘The team and I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise and feel better prepared for the season as a result.

‘It’s always a pleasure working alongside the Coastguard rescue team and the lifeboat as one crew.’

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Crime

Brian Davis: Wanted on suspicion of commercial burglary

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POLICE are appealing for information to find Brian Davis, from the Pembroke Dock area.
The 53-year-old is wanted on suspicion of commercial burglary and fail to appear at court.
Have you seen Brian, or do you have information that might help us find him? Please, let the police know:
🖥️ | https://orlo.uk/wr13X
📧 | [email protected]
💬 | Direct message us on social media
📞 | 101
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.
Quote reference: BRC818624

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