Burnham-On-Sea’s MP raised controversial plans to build a new 400,000 volt power line connecting Hinkley Point to Avonmouth in the House of Commons on Monday (December 7th).
As first reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com in September, the National Grid wants to connect the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point to a new sub-station near Bristol – a distance of 37 miles.
Two potential ‘route corridors’ for the huge pylons have been identified, with one running close to East Huntspill, Watchfield, Mark and Bason Bridge.
David Heathcoat-Amory asked the Secretary of State in Parliament whether as part of changes to Ofgem’s powers and duties, he has considered doing so in relation to new power transmission lines?
“He will be aware of a new proposal by National Grid for a high-voltage line across the Somerset levels. Only two options have been proposed, but a sub-marine option up the Bristol channel was excluded even before consultation began,” said the MP.
“If he is considering making changes, will he put additional obligations on National Grid to consider other options for that type of environmental project?”
Edward Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, responded: “The right honourable gentleman raises a local issue that is of some importance, but I confess that I do not know the details. On the local issue, he may wish to write to me or one of my colleagues and we will look into it.”
Mr Heathcoat-Amory said afterwards: “The government is at least now aware of the matter and I will be following this up with other questions and interventions.”
“As the law stands, the final decisions on National Grid’s application would be made by the government’s new independent Infrastructure Planning Commission. I believe the decision should be made by a minister answereable to parliament. I will therefore keep the pressure up on the government and ensure that local opposition to these pylon proposals is fully understood.”
A further public meeting will be held in Mark Village Hall on Sunday evening (December 13th) at 5pm when the MP will address local cocerns.