July 6, 2011
MP's pylons bill clears first hurdle in House of Commons
MP spoke in parliament on Tuesday (July 5th) about controversial
plans to build a long line of new power 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 - led the debate on the Protection
of Landscapes Bill.
The bill presented by Tessa got through its first reading unopposed
and a second reading will be held on 25th November.
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 Protection of Landscapes Bill seeks to update the 1989 Electricity
Act and reduce the impact of electricity transmission on the UK's
landscape. The Bill seeks to ensure that factors other than cost
are considered in deciding which option to choose, that local
communities are not just consulted but their views are taken into
account, and that underground or undersea transmission is used
in the countryside as it is already done in towns and cities.
Paul Hipwell, Chairman of campaign group No Moor Pylons, told
Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This bill being passed is real democracy
in action. It's our MPs listening to their constituents and taking
action and is a victory for common sense."
"It'sbrilliant to see MPs from every political party and
from across the country, England, Scotland and Wales all supporting
this bill. With the widespread support we are confident the Bill
will progress to law, protect our countryside and leave a legacy
for the next generation we can all be proud of."
Tessa Munt made clear in Parliament that this is not a cost issue,
even National Grid have said that the cost of putting electricity
transmission underground or undersea will increase electricity
bills by less than 1%.
But she said it is a health issue, with growing evidence of the
effect of overhead power cables on people's health. She added
that it is also an environmental issue, with the Somerset levels
a potential world heritage site until this proposal came forward.