Back in the 1890s Alexander Richardson Binnie, the chief engineer at London County Council, had big plans for Radnorshire and Breconshire. He intended to construct a series of reservoirs which would pipe water to the thirsty multitudes of the Great Wen. In addition to drowning communities such as Llangammarch, Garth, Cregrina, Llanbister and Abbeycwmhir, the plan also envisaged the clearance of the population from the surrounding water catchment areas - these would be left to the sheep.
Some 18% of the acreage of Radnorshire would be commandeered by London and an incredible 58% of Breconshire - some 488 square miles in total. With Birmingham and Liverpool also vying for Welsh water it was little wonder that the country was described by Swansea's Liberal MP Sir Henry Vivian as "a carcass which is to be divided between them according to their own needs and wishes."
Binnie's proposals, he had first noted the suitability of the valleys while building railways in the 1860s, was strongly supported by Sidney Webb and the Fabian backed Progressives who controlled London County Council. By the end of the decade a less ambitious plan, supported by Welsh MPs from DLG to Mabon, would have seen the damming of just the Upper Wye and the Irfon. This, too, fell by the wayside due to the opposition of the Tories, no doubt mindful of the interests of London's existing private water supply companies.
Although Binnie died in 1917 it's interesting to learn that the company that he founded designed Llyn Brianne in the 1970s ( see note below). Could his plans be dusted down again at some future date? Surely no supporter of the one nation agenda could object to sacrificing our countryside to the greater good of the United Kingdom's most important city. Indeed a British patriot should be flushed with pride at the very thought.
Note: According to this page Brianne is not a local placename. It is a near anagram of A R Binnie though.