New 50 metre pylons part of grid plans

Electricity pylons in Halton
Electricity pylons in Halton
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The National Grid is pushing ahead with plans that could see new 50m high electricity pylons being built across the Lancaster district.

Local authorities in Lancashire and Cumbria have been in discussion with National Grid over ways to link the proposed new Moorside nuclear power station, on the Cumbrian coast near Sellafield, and wind farms in the Irish Sea, to the country’s electricity network.

One of the preferred options would see one connector route north from Moorside to Carlisle, and another running south via the Lake District and south Lakeland, then through the Lancaster district to a new substation somewhere between Quernmore and Heysham.

The current route of pylons, which stand at 27m in height, crosses the Lune Valley near Halton.

A spokeswoman for National Grid said options could include running new 50m pylons alongside these, or replacing the existing ones.

This option would cost £478m for cables and pylons, or £3.1bn for underground cables.

Another option for the south route is for offshore, underwater cables via the Irish Sea, or underneath Morecambe Bay, coming ashore at either Heysham or further down the coast.

This option would cost £1.3bn.

Jack Ellerby, from Friends of the Lake District, which is connected to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in Cumbria said:

“We are working closely with the National Grid to make sure the new power line connections do not damage the Lake District, the Arnside and Silverdale AONB, the Lune Valley and the marine environment in Morecambe Bay.

“We will not accept the cheapest overhead solution through the South Lakes, damaging beautiful areas like the Cartmel Peninsula and the Lyth Valley.

“The most acceptable approach recommended by Friends of the Lake District and 50 per cent of respondents to National Grid’s outline route options earlier this year, is to take the power lines offshore south from the Moorside site in West Cumbria.”

Peter Fendley, senior project manager at National Grid, said: “The next step is for us to identify potential route corridors for new infrastructure both on land and offshore.

“Once this work has been completed we will start to consult intensively with communities.

“Consultation events are expected to take place from late spring 2013 and will be well publicised in advance.”

The connectivity target date for the project is 2018, with an application for development consent by 2015.

Earlier this year, Andrew Dobson, head of regeneration and policy at Lancaster City Council said the off-shore option would be the first of its kind in the world, and would be expensive, but environmental issues surrounding the on-shore route could push up the cost considerably.