Published: November 6, 2012
Campaigners 'disappointed' by decision on new Hinkley power pylons

Campaigners in the Burnham-On-Sea area say they are disappointed that National Grid has announced that it will not bury its 37-mile power connection running between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth.

National Grid today (Tuesday) announced the draft route for the controversial 400,000 volt power connection. A five-mile section of the route will go under the Mendip Hills, but the line will still use pylons through the Burnham area. [Watch video explaining the route]

Campaigners, pictured above, had wanted the line to go underground rather than spoil the countryside but say they are pleased that the route of the pylons has been sited further away from the village school in Mark and from nearby homes.

A National Grid spokesman told "We are proposing to build an overhead line across the Somerset Levels and Moors. We will take down the existing 132,000 volt overhead line. From Mark to Webbington Road, the draft route broadly follows the route of the existing overhead line, therefore minimising the scale of change to the existing landscape."

"We have chosen the straightest route possible, therefore minimising the visual impact. In the south, the connection runs in the east of the corridor to minimise the impact on people living in East Huntspill."

"We were asked to avoid Mark First School. Our draft route uses a gap that is further away from properties and the school than the existing 132,000 volt overhead line."

"The connection crosses the A38 at Tarnock through the only available gap. To the north of Rooksbridge, the connection runs towards the west of the corridor to minimise the impact on people living in Biddisham."

Paul Hipwell, from No Moor Pylons, told he is "disappointed" that more of the route is not running underground, but welcomed the news that the change of route in Mark.

The new connection will mean that an existing 132,000 volt line between Bridgwater and Avonmouth can be taken down. National Grid expects there to be a reduction in the number of pylons between Bridgwater and Avonmouth from 240 to 145.

Peter Bryant, National Grid Senior Project Manager, added: "We’ve been very keen to listen to the views of local people, for example on the importance of the Mendip Hills where we now plan to use underground cables. We’re very pleased that the new connection will take up to 95 pylons out of the landscape."

"We understand people have concerns about overhead lines, but where they are used, we will work hard to reduce any visual effects by routeing the line carefully and using appropriate pylon designs, which could include the new T-Pylon."

Burnham's MP Tessa Munt has voiced her opposition to the scheme over several years.


Watch a video explaining the route of the power pylons

The full route map can be seen here.


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