Published: September 3, 2013
Protesters urge re-think as National Grid starts pylons consultation

Campaigners who are fighting plans for a corridor of new power pylons across the Somerset Levels near Burnham-On-Sea hope to force National Grid to re-think the scheme as its consultation begins today (Tuesday).

National Grid is offering residents one last chance to have their views heard during the final consultation on the Hinkley Point C Connection scheme.

National Grid has been considering several ways to run the 400,000-volt line from the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station to a sub-station at Avonmouth.

It has proposed using a smaller type of T-shaped pylon, as featured here last month and pictured below, but it has ruled out installing underground cables, apart from through several small Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Mendips.

That has disappointed campaigners in the Burnham-On-Sea area who want the whole power line buried to reduce the visual impact on the environment.

Paul Hipwell from No Moor Pylons said this week: "Although the Government approved the Hinkley C power station project in March 2013 no agreement has been reached with the developers and progress has now stalled."

"We can’t understand why National Grid is rushing ahead with this connection scheme. There is no timetable for the power plant. If they stopped and took a breath they could take account of other technologies that exist or are emerging."

And Maggie Gregory from Pylon-Moor-Pressure added: "Since 2009 when this scheme was first announced, people in Somerset have been outraged that National Grid thinks that this outdated technology is acceptable throughout the beautiful countryside of Somerset and North Somerset."

"They fully understand that burying the power cables will cost more but it’s a price they are very willing to pay to protect our countryside for future generations to enjoy. National Grid still have not provided sufficient information to justify their choice of an overhead line and they need to consider other methods, such as an underground cable or preferably a sub-sea connection."

National Grid's consultation runs from September 3rd to October 29th before it submits its formal application to build the connection route.

Peter Bryant, National Grid senior project manager, said: "This is likely to be the last opportunity for people to say whether they are happy with our proposals or want to see something changed before the application is submitted early next year."

"We want to hear from people in the local area so their opinions are considered as we finalise our plans. The information we have received from the public throughout the project has been a great help in shaping our plans."


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