Local Group Name - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Progress on undergrounding of power lines but big battles still to come over energy infrastructure

Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:27

The major Government announcement today (Thursday) will set the terms of debates over energy infrastructure for years to come. Responding to the proposed National Policy Statement for Electricity Networks Infrastructure [1] in particular, Paul Miner, Senior Planning Campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, says:

“Energy infrastructure can have a hugely damaging impact on the countryside. Despite rumours it may not, the Government has defended of the Holford Rules, a set of principles that say we should not disfigure beautiful countryside with electricity pylons if we can possibly avoid it. They’ve also admitted that in some locations new pylons may be unacceptable because of the visual intrusion they cause.

“This will be welcomed by campaigners working to fight newly proposed power lines in Kent, Lancashire, Shropshire, Somerset and Suffolk. But the battle is not yet won as overhead pylons might still be allowed if underground or undersea alternatives are considered too expensive.

“It is vital that National Grid stops making wild overestimates of undergrounding power cables,  and allows the publication of an independent study on the real cost of keeping our countryside beautiful [2].”

End

Notes to Editors

[1] From DECC, Energy National Policy Statements, National Policy Statement for Electricity Networks Infrastructure, June http://bit.ly/iWkoCF (See page 13 - 16)

[2] CPRE Press Release, 20 June 2011, http://bit.ly/m5ttdx

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