Published: September 3, 2013
Route of new Hinkley pylons route in the Burnham area is unveiled

The route that electricity will take as it is carried from the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has been revealed today (Tuesday).

140 new pylons will be built along a route stretching 34 miles across Somerset, including close to the villages of Mark, East Huntspill and Biddisham. See the full route here.

While National Grid says it has listened to feedback from residents, those who've protested over the issue in the Burnham-On-Sea area say they're not being heard.

Tessa Munt, Burnham's MP, said: "Whether it's a T-pylon or the old-fashioned one they were proposing, they're still almost as wide as they are high."

"They are still going to be a blot on our landscape. But this is the public consultation that everybody needs to respond to, this is the one that the planning inspector will actually take notice of."

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2009 when this scheme was first announced, people in Somerset have been outraged that National Grid thinks that this outdated technology is acceptable throughout the beautiful countryside of Somerset and North Somerset."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."

And Paul Hipwell from No Moor Pylons said: "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."

But Peter Bryant, National Grid senior project manager, said: "Over the past four years we have listened to what the public has told us and this has played a big part in how we’ve developed our plans. We know people are concerned about the connection’s impact on the landscape. We have tried to strike the best balance between reducing this and being mindful of the cost that ends up on everyone’s bills from all our connection projects around the country."

"Based on what people have told us and the guidelines we have to follow, we believe we have the balance right but now we’re asking people to come along to our consultation events and tell us what they think. This could be the last chance they have of influencing our proposals before we submit our planning application in early 2014."

For the next eight weeks until Tuesday 29 October, the draft proposals will be available to view at a series of exhibitions and at National Grid's information hubs where a computer 'fly through' will show exactly how the connection could look in the landscape. In addition, a mobile consultation vehicle will be out and about at various venues in the region. At each of these events people will be able to give their opinions. Details are available at www.hinkleyconnection.co.uk.

The proposals for the Burnham area are:

•Removing the existing Western Power Distribution 132,000 volt Bridgwater to Avonmouth overhead line.
•Building a new 400,000 volt overhead line from Woolavington Road to the existing National Grid 400,000 volt Hinkley Point to Melksham overhead line. For this short section, we propose five steel lattice pylons.
•Removing a short section of the existing Hinkley Point to Melksham line.
•Building a new 400,000 volt overhead line from the existing Melksham line, running north over the Huntspill River to a cable sealing compound around one kilometre (0.6 miles) south of the Mendip Hills. In total, two steel lattice pylons.
•Building a cable sealing end compound approximately 56 x 37 metres, adjacent to the M5 and south of the River Axe. This would allow underground cables to be built through the Mendip Hills AONB.
•Installing new 400,000 volt underground cables from the cable sealing end compound into the Mendip Hills.
•We need a temporary construction compound north of Rooks Bridge, off the A38 for plant, materials and temporary offices for employees while we install the underground cables.


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