Plaid Cymru Councillor Carrie Harper said: "Wales already suffers from a democratic deficit. Our Assembly has far weaker powers than Scotland, Northern Ireland and even the Isle of Man. The Infrastructure Planning Commission is yet another example of how to stamp all over the democratic process and exclude local input, it's an outrage. I wonder how many local people in North Wales have heard about this new outfit and been told about the implications it will have for the local area?
"Yet again we're kept out of the loop but will no doubt be expected to put up with the consequences of these developments. Given previous experiences of forced resource grabs, I think this is something we should all be seriously concerned about. I'm disgusted at the way in which our communities are excluded from various decision-making processes at all levels."
Councillor Arfon Jones, Plaid's candidate for Wrexham in the coming General Election, added:
"It seems devolution is something that happens to other countries. This is another disturbing example of how Wales, unlike Scotland or Northern Ireland, is unable to make decisions on key issues such as energy and other major planning issues. Clearly we in Wales cannot be trusted to make decisions around our own natural resources. This is just another expensive Quango which excuses ministers from making difficult and unpopular decisions.”
Five of the first 10 projects that the IPC is considering are in Wales - four windfarms and the proposal to build a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey.
Cllr Jones added:
“This unelected quango could also be the body that will make the decisions whether a 1500-capacity prison comes to Wrexham and they will make their decision irrespective of the views of councillors or members of the public.”