July 9, 2014
Town Council rejects 'costly' sub-sea power line instead of pylons

A controversial planned power line running between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth should not be buried under the Bristol Channel, Burnham and Highbridge town councillors have decided this week.

Proposals by National Grid to build more than 140 pylons connecting Hinkley Point C to Avonmouth were debated by the town council on Monday (July 7th).

If the pylons scheme is approved by National Grid, the route will stretch 34 miles, running close to the villages of Mark, East Huntspill and Rooksbridge. Campaigners have always said the

Cllr Phil Harvey said: "I feel we should support those asking for the line to be buried under the Bristol Channel rather than across the Somerset Levels. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to influence this and show solidarity with our rural parishes."

But Cllr Neville Jones said: "The cost of an under-sea line compared to the pylons is absolutely colossal. Don't think for one minute that the cost would fall on those building Hinkley - it would fall to us electricity customers in higher bills."

Cllr Ken Smout agreed: "The cost would be astronomical. To bury the power line under the sea would require a trench half the width of the motorway which would also cause ecological damage. The pylons are the best value and most economical way of moving the power."

A proposal by Cllr Harvey for the Town Council to support a sub-sea power line instead of pylons received just two votes in favour and eight votes against, thereby seeing the proposal thrown out.

The Planning Inspectorate is to hold a six-month inquiry into the pylons, during which local people can comment. It will then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. From 12th July, any members of the public who want to be involved with the planning process can register their interest with the Planning Inspectorate here by 26th August.


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