Published: July 1, 2011
Pylons debate heads to House of Commons next Tuesday

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has won a ballot to speak in parliament next week about controversial plans to build a long lines of pylons across Somerset.

Tessa Munt - who has been campaigning against plans by National Grid to construct a 37 mile stretch of pylons from the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point to a new sub-station near Bristol - will lead the debate.

Two 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 close to Burnham-On-Sea.

Local residents have been campaigning for the power line to go under the Bristol Channel instead of overground.

The parliamentary debate, called under a Ten Minute Rule Motion, will take place on Tuesday 5th July between 3.30pm and 5pm.

The debate states: ‘That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision to require factors other than cost to be considered for schemes for the transmission of high voltage electricity where infrastructure would impact on the visual and other amenity of a landscape; to provide that in certain cases such infrastructure be installed by visually unobtrusive works; to require that public consultation be undertaken and inform the selection of the method and technology for the transmission infrastructures used; and for connected purposes."

Supporters of the debate include MPs Martin Horwood (Lib Dem), Roger Williams (Lib Dem), Sir Robert Smith (Lib Dem), Tim Farron (Lib Dem), Caroline Lucas (Green), Tim Yeo (Conservative), Dr Therese Coffey (Conservative), Glyn Davies (Conservative), Natasha Engle (Lab) and Dr Alan Whitehead MP (Lab).

Tessa told "These mini-debates are a great way of keeping an important issue in the parliamentary and public eye and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to speak again."

It comes as a report into the costs of putting the power lines underground has been postponed. The report has been delayed by at least six months because data supplied by National Grid was considered 'insufficient'.

A spokesman from No Moor Pylons, the group fighting the plans, said he welcomed the debate.

Paul Hipwell, Chairman, told "We are delighted to see MPs of all parties supporting this bill to ensure that all new power transmission goes underground just like the way gas and water lines are buried."


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