CALLS for proposed power lines running through the middle of Wales to be placed underground and not on pylons have been acknowledged by the First Minister.

Several communities in Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Powys have raised concerns over a proposed pylon route with an initial consultation period into the proposal drawing to an end.

The Green Gen Towy Teifi project will link Bute Energy’s proposed Lan Fawr Energy Park, north of Lampeter, into a new National Grid substation proposed for south of Carmarthen.

As part of the project, a 52km-long 132kV overhead line has been proposed – with the development in its first phase before a formal application is submitted, classified as a Development of National Significance in Wales.

As part of the initial consultation process, concerns have been raised by residents and businesses about the visual, environmental and economic impact of the proposed overhead line – with several public meetings and campaign groups forming.

Concerns have been echoed by local politicians, who have pressed on the proposed line to be buried underground – in accordance with best practice in other areas of the UK and Europe.

The project was raised in the Senedd with the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, by Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru’s Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales, reiterating calls for the under-grounding of the route.

Responding to Mr Campbell’s question, Mr Drakeford confirmed the Welsh Government’s policy – being “electricity transmission cables should be placed underground where possible, not just in designated landscapes, but where possible.”

Speaking following his question, Cefin Campbell MS, said: “I’m glad the First Minister reiterated the Welsh Government’s stance that cables should be placed underground where possible. With more and more of these overhead pylon proposals popping up across the length and breadth of Wales, now is the time to put such policy into practice.”

Elin Jones MS said: “We are all keen to ensure that we produce more green energy so that we tackle climate change and improve energy self-sufficiency. Whilst wind turbines obviously have to be above ground, there is no such necessity for grid cables. I strongly believe that such cables should be under-ground.”

Ben Lake MP for Ceredigion added: "In recent weeks I have been contacted by a large number of resi-dents and community groups regarding the Tywi Teifi proposal by Green Gen Cymru. They have ex-pressed a range of concerns about the proposed route, and have made a persuasive case.”