Forum for pylon discussion

A PUBLIC forum will be held on Saturday to give North Somerset residents the chance to raise questions about National Grid’s plans to install a new power line across the area.

Organised by campaign groups against the proposals, the event will be held at Nailsea Methodist Church in Silver Street from 2.30-4.30pm. Doors will open at 2pm.

North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox will chair the forum and other MPs including John Penrose for Weston and Tessa Munt for Wells are also expected to attend.

Earlier this month, National Grid published the exact route it hopes a new 400,000 volt power line will follow across Somerset and North Somerset, confirming that only five miles of it would be placed underground at the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty. The rest of the line will be installed over ground on large pylons.

When the energy giant first revealed its plans to create the new line, which is needed to connect a planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point with a substation at Avonmouth, many concerns were raised about the impact an overhead line would have on the countryside and nearby residents.

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As a result, calls were made for the cables to be placed under the ground. However, National Grid said this would be too costly.

Following the announcement of the route on November 6, National Grid was accused of ignoring the concerns of the many people who are against the proposals.

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Saturday’s forum event, to which National Grid has also been invited to attend, has been organised to allow residents to raise their concerns with MPs.

Some local experts who believe there are other, more affordable ways of installing the line, will also speak, along with a representative of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England).

Fiona Erleigh of Nailsea Against Pylons said: “This is being held to put pressure on MPs and National Grid to say there is a better way and it can be done.

“It is really hard to know how many people are still interested in the issue so this forum should give us an idea.”

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