Pylon Routes

5th September 2014

MP Reopens the debate

Dr Liam Fox MP has reopened the debate for an undersea solution to the Hinckley Point C Connection project.  Campaigners and residents are asking why undersea cables cannot be used; particularly as National Grid are proposing to do just that for a project in Scotland. In contrast, the current proposal for the Hinckley Point C Connection project is to march giant pylons conspicuously through the North Somerset Countryside.

Plans are set out in National Grid’s Performance Summary of 20/12/13 to bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in England and Wales.  It mentions a pair of high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables approximately 422 kilometres long connecting Hunterston in Scotland and Deeside in North Wales.  It says that the cables will travel for 385 kilometres under the Irish Sea before coming ashore on the Wirral and travelling underground to Deeside. 

Dr Liam Fox has written to the Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change, to ask for an update on this project where undersea and underground cables are being used.

 

30th November 2012

MP SEEKS GREEN TRANSMISSION ASSURANCE

 

Dr Liam Fox MP says that he will seek to amend any energy bill that does not include green transmission and a potential to rid the countryside of overhead lines and pylons.

 

Dr Fox’s constituency in North Somerset is one of many constituencies affected by the new power lines needed to connect Hinkley Point to Avonmouth. He has experienced firsthand the anger people feel at having large pylons blighting the countryside when technology exists for energy to be transmitted in less environmentally damaging ways.  Other European countries have already started removing pylon lines and the Energy Bill gives the UK the opportunity to move its policy in a similar direction.

 

In a question to the Secretary of State for Energy, the Rt Hon Ed Davey MP, Dr Fox said “there is a wonderful opportunity for us to leave a great environmental legacy to future generations.”  He continued to challenge; “what will the bill say about green transmission?  And can I say to the Secretary of State, if it currently says nothing, a number of us on both sides of the House would be more than happy to amend it to do so.”

 

Dr Fox has been leading a strong campaign in his North Somerset constituency to minimise the environmental impact of the new power lines between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth.

 

Speaking later today, Dr Fox said “I am an enthusiastic supporter of the many green energy options that appear to be available in the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel and have recently started a campaign to make sure that the Severn Barrage does not crowd out the many other – less environmentally and economically damaging – options that are emerging.  But the Government needs to be clear that the environmental impact of the energy industry is not limited to generation alone.  Transmission of energy is equally challenging and if we are serious about “Going Green” we must be addressing the damage caused by pylons and overhead lines too.”

 

6th November 2012

Dr Liam Fox vows to fight on over National Grid plans to run pylon lines through the middle of the North Somerset constituency.

Generally, these plans are very disappointing and will reinforce the impression that the whole consultation was largely a waste of time.  There are some minor improvements with fewer lines across Nailsea and the main pylon line being moved away from housing.  The under grounding of lines across the Mendips is welcome, but nothing is being done to reduce the environmental impact of potentially higher pylons across Tickenham Ridge.

 

We will continue to fight for the use of new technology as the cost must be measured in more than just money.  This may be the end of the “War of the Mendips” but it is just the beginning of the “Battle of Tickenham Ridge”.

 

I will be talking further to National Grid; we will be having a public meeting in Nailsea; and I will be seeing the Secretary of State to see whether changes in legislation can be used to change these plans.

 

The fight goes on.

Liam chaired a public meeting in Nailsea on Saturday 24th November attended by over 400 constituents.  The views of those attending could not have been clearer - the new route around Nailsea is broadly welcome but the people of Tickenham, Portbury and Portishead remain very concerned with the scar these pylons will cause to our beautiful constituency.

Liam will continue to put pressure on the National Grid for under-ground cables in all contentious areas and has warned the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change that if the Government's new Energy policy does not contain legislation on green transmission, that he will be looking to ammend the bill so that it does.  Liam's question in parliament is here.