This is an archived press release
Tuesday 15 September 2015
Pylons close to the village of Dunford Bridge in the Peak District National Park are to be removed as part of a £500m project to improve some of the most important landscapes in England and Wales.
Twelve sections of high voltage lines in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty had been shortlisted to benefit from the scheme, including the six pylons near Dunford Bridge and a larger section in the Longdendale Valley.
Four projects have now been prioritised and, although the Longdendale stretch is not among them, the lines east of the Woodhead Tunnel at Dunford Bridge will now be buried underground alongside the Transpennine Trail.
Using the £500m allowance made available by Ofgem, National Grid plans to reduce the visual impact of sections of high voltage overhead lines in the four locations, which also include:
- Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near Winterbourne Abbas
- New Forest National Park near Hale
- Snowdonia National Park near Porthmadog
Chris Baines, chair of the Stakeholder Advisory Group which made the decision, said: “Reducing the visual impact of pylons and power lines in our most precious landscapes is highly desirable, but it is also very expensive and technically complex so we have had to make some difficult decisions. Although four schemes have been prioritised, none of the locations on our original shortlist have been dropped and they will remain under consideration for future work to reduce the impact of National Grid’s transmission lines under the Visual Impact Provision project.”
Over the next 12 months, National Grid will be talking with local residents and community groups as plans for the work begin to take shape
John Scott, director of planning for the Peak District National Park, said: “We are very pleased that the line close to Dunford Bridge has been chosen as one of the four projects because there is no doubt that the work will make a huge difference to the quality of the landscape.
“It’s disappointing that the Longdendale Valley was not one
of the four sites to be prioritised, but it remains on the shortlist and we
remain hopeful that it will be considered in the future.’’
A spokesman for National Grid said: There are technical challenges associated with undergrounding in the Longdendale Valley and local stakeholders would like to see more of the line placed below ground than the current preferred engineering option would provide for. The Stakeholder Advisory Group therefore felt that this project cannot be taken forward in its current form.
“A possible project to reduce the impact of the two lines running to the west of the Woodhead Tunnel along the Longdendale Valley has not been dropped. Although four schemes have been prioritised, all 12 remain on the shortlist and remain under consideration for future work to reduce the impact of National Grid’s transmission lines.’’