July 13, 2015
MP backs residents over pylons road plan protest near Burnham

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has backed a group of residents near Burnham-On-Sea who have voiced their concern about controversial plans to build a new road for lorries along the route of a proposed line of power pylons.

As we first reported here last week, East Huntspill Parish Council is fighting National Grid's plan for a new road for heavy construction vehicles during the build of the power pylons that will run through the Burnham area from Hinkley Point C to Avonmouth.

Over 60 residents flocked to a public meeting in East Huntspill Church Hall on Friday evening ahead of the Planning Inspectorate's deadline for feedback on the plans today (July 13th).

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, who represents the village, told after the meeting: "There are three points here - firstly, look at the turnout - that tells you it's important. Second, people don't know what's happening here - I've learned lots tonight which shows I've not been kept in the loop, so I'm cross. Thirdly, the government and National Grid must learn that we're not going to be stood on or roll over here - we're actually here and care about it because we live in this community and we're not prepared to be pushed around by people who are not from this area and are not accountable for this area. That goes for Cllr Fothergill at the County Council and certainly National Grid and I will be having words with the government to ask what on earth are they are doing."

Parish Council Vice Chairman Nigel Litton added: "I was pleased with the big turnout and pleased the MP came along to add clout. The village now has an idea of what the National Grid company wants to do and hopefully we can persuade them to not ruin our village for the next six years."

Parish Council Clerk Jane Moreton explained what the proposals are: "Heavy goods vehicles would use this route, coming from the A38 via Watchfield, seven days a week every 15 minutes, during the construction of the road, and then to access the building of the pylons for up to five years afterwards."

"The Parish Council and residents feel that the area is already at capacity regarding HGV traffic, and any increase will have a huge impact on safety, wellbeing and the environment."

She added: "Somerset County Council are condoning this plan, claiming risk assessments, research and analysis have been carried out to show this is an appropriate development, but the Parish Council have not been consulted in any way, nor provided with any of the data SCC claim to have collected, despite repeated requests."

"When councillors raised objections at a Planning Inspectorate hearing in April, National Grid were asked by the Inspectorate to find some alternative ideas to the use of Factory Lane. On 16th June they informed the subsequent hearing that other alternatives were not viable, without presenting any evidence."

"The only solution offered for safety concerns was double yellow lines, which would mean that villagers would have no parking outside their houses."

It is proposed that Factory Lane in Basonbridge will be extended along the old railway line to the new T-pylon route.

Residents are being urged to submit their feedback on the plans today to

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