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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Concern over lines from planned nuclear power station at Sellafield

New concerns about the impact of extra power lines from a proposed new nuclear power station have been raised.

The National Grid has put forward six initial options, including bringing high-voltage power lines north and across to Carlisle.

Councils and other key bodies are now being asked for their initial views.

Eden District Council’s planning committee met to discuss the plans. Its chairman, John Thompson, raised serious concerns about the impact of a major new pylon network on the landscape and environment right across Cumbria.

On behalf of the committee he is calling for option five – to send two streams of pylons north to Harker, near Carlisle – to be scrapped.

Instead he wants the National Grid to investigate whether options three and four – on and off shore power lines heading north and south from the Moorside power station – could be combined.

He said: “A great deal of work has gone in to preparing the detailed response to this initial consultation on how we join up energy delivery across the UK in the future.

“Although option five would be the major concern for the council in terms of impact on the district, we agree that due to the extensive environmental and social constraints associated with it this option should not be taken forward.

“The council is recommending that National Grid investigate whether a hybrid of option three and four is feasible and could reduce the negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts and could potentially support the aspirations of Britain’s Energy Coast, providing full flexibility to connect future generation along the length of the Cumbria coast, without the need for further upgrades in the foreseeable future.”

This recommendation must now be ratified by Eden’s executive next Tuesday.

The National Grid launched the consultation to get views ahead of developing plans to increase Cumbria’s nuclear and renewable energy output.

It has put forward six possible options, which will be explored in more details once feedback is received.

Cumbria County Council’s cabinet has already expressed reservations about all of them, but believes the benefits of nuclear new-build outweigh the disadvantages.

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