Campaigners fighting plans for a controversial 400,000 volt power line through the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week welcomed the news that a similar scheme in Lincolnshire has been axed.
Plans for a 50-mile line of electricity pylons between Grimsby and Boston have been scrapped, with National Grid saying it no longer plans to use overhead cabling to take power from an offshore windfarm.
This week’s decision has been welcomed by the No Moor Pylons pressure group, which is opposed to National Grid’s route for a line of pylons between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth, which for the majority of the route, will use Corridor 1 that runs close to the Burnham area, as shown on the map.
Paul Hipwell from the campaign group No Moor Pylons told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “At last the tide is turning and common sense is prevailing. National Grid has decided that pylons are unacceptable to the people of Lincolnshire. They now need to decide that pylons are equally unacceptable in Somerset. They should halt their plans to build pylons across the beautiful Somerset countryside now.”
He added: “From the outset, National Grid has ruled out underground cables for the Hinkley to Avonmouth route, saying that they are 17 times more expensive than pylons. Now, an independent report into electricity transmission commissioned by the Irish Government has shown that, thanks to rapid advances in technology, the cost of undergrounding has fallen substantially and is now about the same as the cost of pylons, depending on local conditions.”
“Across Europe, more underground cables are now being installed than overhead pylons. A total of 700km of underground cables are under construction while only 450 km of overhead pylons are being constructed. In Denmark, the Government has decided that all future electricity transmission routes must be underground.”
“The UK report into the comparative costs of pylons and underground cables, commissioned by DECC is a year late. It will now be published on 31st January 2012. Campaigners are concerned about whether the report will be truly independent. The report was compiled by Parsons Brinckerhoff, which is owned by Balfour Beatty – a major contractor to National Grid.”
Maggie Gregory of Pylon Moor Pressure added: “We are calling on the National Grid to take an honest look at their plans for the Hinkley to Avonmouth route and consider what is best for the countryside, as well as for their profits. Undergrounding the route will not cost them 17 times the cost of pylons and would be far better for everyone who lives and works in Somerset, as well as for our tourism industry.”