Power line plans ‘lack innovation’

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 March 2015

T-pylons will be used along some of the route.

T-pylons will be used along some of the route.


NATIONAL Grid has been accused of ploughing ahead with ‘outdated technology’ at a time when it should be ‘investing more in innovation and research’.

That is according to the people who presented their views to members of the Government’s Planning Inspectorate during an open hearing held in Nailsea on the firm’s proposals for a 400,000 volt line which could cross North Somerset’s countryside.

About 70 people attended two hearings held on March 18, with a number of speakers questioning the use of overhead pylons instead of placing the connection under ground between a planned new power station at Hinkley Point C and a substation at Avonmouth using gas insulated lines (GIL).

The views will be taken into account before a decision on whether to approve the plans is made later this year.

Nailsea Town Council chairman Clare Hunt said: “It matters little how many people I speak to from Nailsea and the surrounding district, there is one question asked by all except a tiny minority and that is: Why is National Grid still going ahead with an out-dated method of transmitting electricity-and still using overhead cables and pylons?

“It cannot be impossible in today’s technological environment to use a better system than the one devised all those years ago when pylons first appeared on our landscapes.”

Wraxall and Failand Parish councillor Chris Ambrose said: “They have no history or culture of imagination. National Grid need to step out of their comfort zone.

“It should be more innovative and do more research, rather than spending money on public relations.”

Representations were also made by residents of Cadbury Camp Lane in Clapton-in-Gordano, where the line is proposed to pass overhead.

Alistair Cole, who at the beginning of 2008 bought a property in the lane and has since built a new house there, said: “From my family’s perspective we will be living right next to a pylon.

“We bought our house in 2008 and carried out all of the searches we possibly could.

“Everything we have worked toward and all of our life savings are now going to be put at risk and there is nothing we can do about it.

“My house is now worthless.”

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