Electricity pylons are to be removed from beauty spots for the first time, with the power lines buried underground at a cost of £7 million for each structure. Ouch!
A £500 million National Grid scheme will result in only 65 pylons being dismantled across Britain. That equates to less than 1 in 20 of the 1,500 pylons in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty
This information comes from draft policy published in August
National Grid published a draft policy covering what they will do to spend the recently granted £500 million allowance that can be used to underground existing lines in nationally designated landscapes between now and 2020. National Grid will consult on the draft over 8 weeks. The fund could be spent on:
* Placing lines underground;
* Screening and landscaping;
* Replacing existing and outdated pylons with those of an alternative design (e.g. the recently launched ‘T Pylon’ design); and/or
* Re-routeing and rationalising existing lines
The Campaign for National Parks (CNP), The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), and the Campaign to Protect Rural Wales (CRRW) will work with a new national stakeholder group organised by National Grid. It is hoped that the group will begin meeting before the end of this year.
Paul Miner, Senior Planning Campaigner for CPRE said: ‘We welcome National Grid’s continued progress in making sure that this exciting opportunity to reinstate and enhance our finest landscapes is turned into real action on the ground. For too long, pylons have blighted a number of our finest landscapes. This allowance can help us make a start to address and make good this damage’.
Peter Ogden, Director of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, agreed by saying:
‘National Grid’s initiative marks an important step forward in recognising the true value, pleasure and the enormous range of public benefits our finest landscapes provide to the nation. We hope this prompt captures the imagination of others to follow and help declutter these iconic and invaluable areas of Wales and England’.
Ruth Bradshaw, Policy and Research Manager for the Campaign for National Parks, added: ‘We’re really pleased that the opportunity for more pylon free views in National Parks has moved a step closer as a result of National Grid publishing their draft policy. Its great timing too as this is National Parks Week and we look forward to working closely with National Grid and other stakeholders to ensure the allowance is implemented successfully’.
£7 million though!!!!