THE Welsh Government should investigate a cheaper, effective form of undergrounding cables in relation to the Towy Valley pylon plans according to a local MP.

There are plans to link Bute Energy’s Nant Mithil Energy Park near Builth Wells to the National Grid near Llandyfaelog, which would see pylons placed along the Towy Valley. These proposals have seen calls from residents, environmental campaigners and more for the plans to be refused, with many stating they would welcome the undergrounding of cables instead due to the area being an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Bute Energy had stated that undergrounding cables would be more expensive, however, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards has said there is a cheaper alternative called cable ploughing that is being used across Europe – and one of the biggest companies to do it is based in Carmarthenshire.

Cable ploughing cuts a trench in almost all ground conditions such as dry soil, marshland and soft rock and places the cable at a depth of up to two metres and as it moves forward, it closes the already-laid bits of pipe behind it with the formation of a closure over the top, allowing for the bottom half to be filled with silt over time.

Mr Edwards said: “I recently met with a company in the constituency which happens to be one of the largest companies of its kind in Europe. The company undertakes work all over the UK and the continent using cable ploughing techniques.

“When the Brechfa Connection project was considered some years ago, when the decision was in the hands of the UK Government, we successfully campaigned to reduce the visual impact of the project and crucially the Towy Valley section of the development was undergrounded.

“The strength of feeling regarding this proposal in the local community is clear to see with campaign groups motivated and public meetings packed out. I am anxious that cable ploughing is fully considered at haste so that Welsh policy is as informed as possible.

“I hope the chair of the committee and the minister for climate change will agree to my requests for a working group and evidence session on this crucial matter.”

Mr Edwards has written to the chair of the Senedd’s climate change, environment and infrastructure committee to request an evidence session is called to discuss the cable ploughing technique and for a working group to be set up by the minister for climate change.