Published: June 25, 2012
Campaigners take pylons protest to the top of Crook Peak

Burnham-On-Sea's MP Tessa Munt joined campaigners walking along Crook Peak on Sunday (June 24th) to raise awareness of controversial plans by the National Grid to install electricity pylons across Somerset’s countryside.

The MP told around 200 people during the protest that there are other viable options to the pylons, such as underground cabling or sub-sea cabling, that should be considered by National Grid.

The organisation wants to build a 37 mile line of 400,000 volt, 46.5m tall pylons in 'route corridor' that will run past the Burnham-On-Sea area, through the village of Mark and close to East Huntspill and Watchfield, to Avonmouth.

Sunday's protest was attended by county, district and parish councillors from across the area plus representatives from CPRE, The Mendip Society, The National Trust and Natural England - but National Grid decided not to attend to defend its plans.

Residents, councillors and pressure groups like No Moor Pylons have been meeting with National Grid and campaigning against the proposals for two years and remain resolute in their desire to protect Somerset's landscape.

National Grid was labled as "disgraceful" for not attending by Tessa Munt.

She said: "They have had months to prepare for this day and could have got someone along. It is disgraceful they are not here."

But in a statement, National Grid defended itself, saying: "We want to hear about the places that matter to people as local knowledge is vital and will add important details to the information already gathered."

People living along the route have until July 23rd to give their views on the scheme as part of National Grid's consultation.

Richard Parker from Compton Bishop Parish Council explained the importance of the hills during Sunday's event: "As a resident and as a volunteer for the National Trust on the King’s Wood to Crook Peak area of Mendip, I see many of the hundreds of people who come to walk these beautiful hills and just pause to absorb the wonderful views."

"Typically, last year I saw one middle-aged couple sitting just to the south of Wavering Down, in a little sheltered hollow, having their packed lunch."

"They told me they come here regularly from Bristol as this is the most perfect spot in the south west – both relaxing and beautiful – which sums it up."

"So many people regard these hills as their special place and we would hope that common sense will prevail to ensure this unique landscape is not blighted with a line of enormous pylons running from the slopes of the Mendips into the distance along the length of the Somerset Levels."


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