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Hundreds of pylons would be 'a blight' on Cumbria's landscape

Hundreds of huge pylons which could be constructed across the north Cumbrian countryside would be a blight on the landscape, say councillors.

The comment has come after National Grid unveiled controversial plans which reveal six possible options for transporting electricity from a proposed new nuclear power station at Moorside, near Sellafield, and new wind turbines in the Irish Sea.

Two options would bring two sets of pylons carrying high voltage lines to Harker, north of Carlisle. These would be linked to a succession of pylons stretching eastwards across north Cumbria’s countryside.

Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Council’s environment portfolio holder, said local councils and residents had no power to stop the development.

He added: “I’ve made it very clear to government that if they expect us to take new pylons in Cumbria, they can’t expect us to take 400ft wind turbines in the same area.

“There has to be a clear understanding that we will not have our landscape ruined for the rest of the country.”

The 152ft (46.5m) pylons would be spaced about 365m apart over a distance of around 50 miles, although some of the power lines could be laid underground.

But the prospect of huge pylons marring the countryside near Brampton is already causing concern among the town’s parish councillors.

“I’m not very happy about it,” said Gillian Hodgson. “It would spoil the scenery.”

Fellow parish councillor Ian Pennington agreed, saying: “You’d think they could put them underground. Protecting the countryside should come first.”

Former Brampton parish councillor Judith Pattinson added: “I feel the same way about pylons as I do about wind turbines. They’re a blight on the landscape.

“They can put pipelines at the bottom of the sea so why not dig a big trench and bury these cables underground?“

National Grid has confirmed that it is likely the new power lines would encroach into the Lake District National Park.

A spokesman said it was too early to speculate on what proportion of the new power lines, if any, would be buried underground – a significantly more expensive option.

Consortium NuGen is behind the nuclear power station plan at Moorside which, if given the go-ahead, would start generating electricity in 2023. The Government has pledged to provide new infrastructure to transport the electricity as power lines used when Sellafield was generating are too small.

Other options for the new power line route include sending the power south to Heysham or dividing the load between Harker and Heysham. Another option could see the electricity sent underground or overground across the North Pennines to Newcastle.

The North West Coast Connection project is part of a £16bn national investment programme. If the Government grants consent, work would begin in 2016.

Sixteen local authorities have agreed to work with the National Grid on consulting communities over the next two years.

Details of the six options are available on the project website for 10 weeks with feedback being accepted until July 19 -

Have your say

The reason for these pylons is the proposed new power station needed to supply power down south, so put the power station at Heysham and just connect it to the existing grid, it is really that simple.

None of this benefits Cumbria, just more eyesores on the landscape and impact on the counties major income tourism.


Posted by angela on 18 July 2014 at 10:30

John Boylan wrote "these pylons will be better than those eyesores called windmills",

Hilarious. That John, is called cutting off your nose to spite your face. Decentralised energy production, including onshore wind, means we all shoulder some of the visual impact of necessary energy production. Unnecessary pylons, easily undergrounded, we can do without. I hope the anti wind brigade will be lobbying to ensure these pylon routes from Sellafield are routed as close as possible through their areas.

Posted by Tim on 3 August 2012 at 10:29

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