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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 11:57 GMT
Villagers fight gas pipe station
Gas flame
The network could supply up to 20% of the UK's gas needs
Villagers are fighting plans to build a gas station in the Neath valley as part of a pipeline crossing south Wales.

People in Cilfrew claim it should be built in the open countryside away from residential homes.

The station would be part of a network that will carry gas taken by boat to Pembrokeshire and would be capable of meeting 20% of the UK's gas needs.

The National Grid said it appreciated the concerns and would keep villagers informed during the planning process.

The pipeline will run from Milford Haven along a 115-mile (185 km) route to link up with the existing gas network.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be shipped into the port and converted back into its natural state at two terminals currently under construction.

We know this plant has to be built somewhere but why put our village at risk?
Linda Ware, residents' association

It will then be transported under high pressure in the pipeline.

The station to be sited at Cilfrew is needed to reduce the pressure in the line as its diameter narrows as it breaks off in different directions.

At a recent public meeting residents in Cilfrew vowed to fight the planning application lodged with Neath Port Talbot Council.

Linda Ware, of the residents' association, said: "We know this plant has to be built somewhere but with mile after mile of open uninhabited countryside to the east and west of the proposed site why put our village at risk?"

Essential supply

She said residents had been told building work could start as soon as April.

There are also worries about large vehicles and heavy machinery on the main road during the 18 months it would take to complete.

She said there were two schools with over 1,000 pupils in the village.

"Due to nursery school hours, school start and finishing times and meal breaks, children are on this road for many hours of the day," added Mrs Ware.

Neath AM Gwenda Thomas is meeting managers from the National Grid next week.

"I will be urging them to look again at alternative sites that are located away from residential areas and especially schools," she said.

In a statement a spokeswoman for the National Grid said it was "committed to building this essential natural gas pipeline" needed to meet "the UK's growing demands".

"We fully appreciate the concerns of local residents and are keeping the community groups regularly informed as we go through the planning process."


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