Published: May 20, 2010
Power pylons 'would cost 12-17 times more if buried underground'

National Grid has said this week that it still wants to build electricity pylons across Somerset's countryside rather than bury them, despite opposition from residents.

The energy company wants to build the 37-mile network from Hinkley Point to Avonmouth, which would pass near the Burnham-On-Sea area.

A public meeting was held in Bridgwater on Tuesday (May 18th) where residents opposed to the plans protested.

they want the cables to be buried underground or run underneath the Bristol Channel, but National Grid says such an option would be too costly.

The company said this week that the over-ground pylons would cost approximately £196m, while an underground line would cost anything from 12 to 17 times more. Buring the lines under the Severn Estuary would cost about £1.2bn.

National Grid Project Manager David Mercer added: "We believe on balance a power line is the right solution here, but we are prepared to continue to engage with communities and listen to their point of view."

Two controversial potential 'route corridors' for the 400,000 volt, 46.5m tall pylons have been identified, with one running through East Huntspill, Watchfield, Mark and Bason Bridge.

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