to decision that Hinkley power line won't run underground
in the Burnham-On-Sea area say they are disappointed that National
Grid has announced it will not bury the whole of its 37-mile power
connection running between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth.
Grid has announced
the draft route for the controversial 400,000 volt power connection.
A five-mile section of the route will go underground in the Mendip
Hills, but the line will use overhead pylons when it goes through
the Burnham area.
MP Tessa Munt said: "I am disappointed that National
Grid has elected to bury only a small fraction of the line, through
the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - and has
chosen not to hear the responses of more than 8,000 people and
many organisations who called on the company to bury its cables
through our beautiful Somerset landscape."
"National Grid's own independent research shows 80% of its
customers are willing to pay extra on their power bills to bury
cables underground. National Grid is on the record confirming
that the cost of burying the entire route from Bridgwater to Avonmouth
would be less than 75p per year - on household energy bills. This
is simply not good enough."
"This morning I met with the Energy Minister and the Secretary
of State to discuss this matter and I will be raising this with
Steve Holliday, Chief Executive of National Grid when I meet him
on Thursday. An organisation with the resources of National Grid
should be able to assess the value of Somerset's tourism and leisure
businesses - on which the local economy depends, and make sensitive
and appropriate decisions after hearing what local people think."
Paul Hipwell from campaign group No Moor Pylons said:
"People in Somerset fully understand that burying power cables
will cost more, but its a price they are very willing to
pay to protect the beautiful Somerset countryside for future generations
to enjoy. National Grid should take note of its own research and
recognise that people are willing to pay to protect the countryside.
National Grid has consistently said it would cost too much to
underground the cables and people would not be willing to pay.
Now their own report refutes these claims National Grid
should listen to what customers are saying and bury the entire
District Council Leader, Cllr Duncan McGinty, said: "We
now need to digest the information thoroughly and come to a view
on the implications for our area. We understand that the final
scheme will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by National
Grid at the end of next year and we are keen to work with Grid
to make sure we get the infrastructure that is so desperately
needed for a secure energy supply with as little negative impact
on our local communities as possible."
John Penrose said: "This is great news for everyone who
lives in and visits the Mendip Hill Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty. If these whopping great pylons had gone ahead we'd
have damaged some of our finest countryside. Im absolutely
delighted that a combination of local pressure and good sense
have won through. I would like to thank everybody who helped us
campaign over the years, and National Grid for listening properly
too. It shows the impact a small community can make when it bands
Bryant, National Grid Senior Project Manager, said: "Weve
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. Were 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."
Watch a video
explaining the route of the power pylons
The announcement on
route map can be seen here