Options narrowed for new power lines through West Cumbria
Last updated at 12:41, Friday, 26 October 2012
New power lines or cables have moved a step closer to being installed through the northern area of West Cumbria.
National Grid is looking at possible connections to a planned new nuclear power station at Moorside, near Sellafield.
It has narrowed down six initial broad options to three possibilities, after a public consultation in the summer
Each would see inland connections running north from Moorside, along the west coast area past Whitehaven and Workington and inland towards a substation at Carlisle or a new substation in the Penrith area.
A National Grid spokes-man confirmed that the northern connection would avoid the Lake District National Park.
He added: “With the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty we can’t make a definite statement at the moment but looking at it we believe we can avoid it and this is very much something we want to discuss with interested parties.”
The northern route would work alongside a connection south to Lancashire which would either run under the sea, on land around the coast or on land to Barrow and under Morecambe Bay.
It is not yet known whether the electricity would be carried by overhead lines on pylons or underground cables for the inland connections.
The spokesman said the firm now work out more detailed routes and publish them for consultation in early to mid 2013.
Construction is not expected to start until 2016.
Jill Perry, secretary of Allerdale and Copeland Green Party, said: “Because we oppose building a new nuclear station at Sellafield and we think it’s increasingly unlikely to happen now, we don’t see the need for the pylons in the first place.”
She added that if the plans did go ahead the lines to the north should go underground and the three existing rows of Electricity North West overhead lines and pylons should be replaced with underground cabling.
She said: “My personal preference would be for the new award-winning design of pylon if we couldn’t have them underground.”
Brian Irving, manager of Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natual Beauty, hoped any connections impinging on the AONB would use underground cables.
He said: “We are extremely concerned about the possible landscape impact of such a large pylons. They are going to be over twice the size of a standard pylon. They could have the same level of impact as a wind turbine. We are also concerned that the Solway is a special protection area for swans and geese and these big pylons would certainly impinge on flight paths.”
First published at 11:49, Friday, 26 October 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Wherever Bational Grid are proposing to make new connections in England and Wales the same points come up: people don not want super-sized pylons through the countryside or near housing. The recent announcement for the scheme in Suffolk and Essex shows that National Grid do not listen to the views that the public and statutory consultess have put forward. National Grid will put the cables underground only where statutory planning constraints force them them to do so. In Somerset we are waiting with bated breath to see just how much they have listened to the overwhelming view that the connection should be underground. 6 November is the date to watch....
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