Calls for Prince Charles to halt pipeline

A A A

Campaigners opposed to the multimillion-pound project by Transco to pump gas from a new liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal in South Wales to Gloucestershire have called on the Prince of Wales to block the scheme by refusing access to land owned by his Duchy of Cornwall estate.

Transco, which is responsible for maintaining Britain's gas infrastructure, argues that the 180-mile pipeline from Milford Haven to the Tewkesbury area is needed to meet the UK's booming gas needs as it moves from a net natural gas exporter to an importer.

But opponents of the scheme claim its likely route, to be announced within the next fortnight, will take it through protected land, including the Brecon Beacons National Park and sensitive sites along the rivers Towy, Usk and Wye.

Conservationists are concerned that the pipeline will also go through Turnastone Court, a 247-acre farm in Herefordshire's Golden Valley, which features unique water meadows unploughed for 400 years. The farm was saved from ruin five years ago by the Countryside Restoration Trust (CRT) after an unspecified donation by Prince Charles.

Robin Page, chairman of the CRT, said yesterday: "This is a pipeline that will pass through some of the last unspoilt areas of Britain, when the same infrastructure is already in place on the other side of the country. In order to build this pipeline, ancient grazing land would be dissected, the water table and the hydrology of Britain's most ancient water meadows would be threatened, and some of Britain's most threatened flora and fauna would be compromised. It is almost beyond belief."

Turnastone Court is also the site of 16th- and 17th-century earthworks that form part of some of Britain's oldest irrigation works designed to create the water meadows, which are home to dozens of species.

Transco insisted last night that the final pipeline route, consisting of a one kilometre-wide corridor which will be narrowed down to a 44-metre-wide (144ft) excavation site after consultations with land owners, has yet to be decided. The pipeline will be 1.2m in diameter and buried 1.2m under ground.

But The Independent has learnt that the proposed route will cut across a 33-mile section of the Brecon Beacons and cross the territory of 420 landowners at a cost of £4,000 per acre in compensation.

Campaigners are hoping to stop the pipeline - being built in two stages from Milford Haven to Aberdulais, near Swansea, and then to Tirley, near Tewkesbury - by persuading landowners to refuse to sell.

Mr Page said: "We are asking neighbouring farmers for support. We want Prince Charles to know exactly what is going on. He is one of the few people to understand what is happening in the countryside today. We hope the Duchy will take a stand against the pipeline, wherever it goes."

The Duchy of Cornwall said yesterday that it was awaiting publication of the Transco plans. But sources said the proposals were expected to affect only three fields owned by the estate.

A Transco spokesman said: "We fully appreciate the sensitivities that a project such as this creates and when the route has been decided we will discuss it in detail with those affected."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones