|National Grid Upgrade in Cumbria - pylons threat to Cumbria's beautiful places|
|Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:53|
*Updated 12 Sept 2013* The National Grid is in the process of planning a major upgrade of the electricity transmission network in Cumbria.
This is because of the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Moorside, close to Sellafield, on the west coast of the county, and the construction of a number of offshore wind farms.
This is a large scale project, and plans are being developed in stages over a number of years, in close consultation with local planning authorities and other interested groups, including Friends of the Lake District. The first major consultation stage, which sought to identify the most appropriate strategic route option for the transmission network, has recently closed.
We held detailed discussions with National Grid, and the local planning authorities, in order to identify the approach which best protects the landscape. We are urging the National Grid to consider a variety of options for transmission, including underground and offshore cables, as well as alternative pylon designs - in order to minimise landscape impact.
It is vital that the option chosen protects sensitive landscape areas like the Lake District National Park and the Solway Coast AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
National Grid is due to announce their favoured route for the new lines at the end of this year. We will be working closely with National Grid and other organisations during 2013 to ensure we get the best solution for Cumbria's landscape and communities.
Read our response to the 2012 first consultation here.
Update 12 September 2013:
National Grid has confirmed that it will not be going ahead with its public consultation on the North West Coast Connections Project this autumn as it originally planned.
This decision was made following meetings between National Grid and NuGen, the developer of the proposed new nuclear power station - Moorside – near Sellafield in West Cumbria for which National Grid has to deliver a connection to its existing electricity transmission system.
Any decisions NuGen make regarding technology choices at Moorside could have implications for National Grid's proposals and the information that it expected to consult on this autumn; hence the planned consultation has been postponed.
National Grid expects to make an announcement on the start of the public consultation early in the New Year. This should allow for more informed consultation as the project moves forward, and provide for easier understanding of the works.
We will provide details about the consultation as soon as National Grid is able to advise. Alternatively you can register your details directly with National Grid to receive updates on the North West Coast Connections Project here.