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National Grid launches final Hinkley C pylons consultation
ANTI-PYLONS protesters say they cannot understand why National Grid is “rushing ahead” with its Hinkley C connection scheme and still refusing to put most of the route underground.
The company this week published full details of its proposed Hinkley C to Avonmouth connection route – needed if a third nuclear power station at Hinkley gets the go-ahead – and launched a final consultation which it described as a “last chance” for people to influence its plans.
But while there have been some changes – notably that the smaller, T-Pylon design will be used for the majority of the overhead route – National Grid is sticking to its guns and only plumping for the costlier option of underground cables along five miles of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Maggie Gregory, from Pylon-Moor-Pressure, said: “Since 2009 when this scheme was first announced, people in Somerset have been outraged that National Grid thinks that this outdated technology is acceptable throughout the beautiful countryside of Somerset and North Somerset.
“They fully understand that burying the power cables will cost more but it’s a price they are very willing to pay to protect our countryside for future generations to enjoy.
“National Grid still have not provided sufficient information to justify their choice of an overhead line and they need to consider other methods, such as an underground cable or preferably a sub-sea connection”.
Paul Hipwell, from No Moor Pylons, added: “Although the Government approved the Hinkley C power station project in March 2013 no agreement has been reached with the developers and progress has now stalled.
“We can’t understand why National Grid is rushing ahead with this connection scheme. There is no timetable for the power plant.
"If they stopped and took a breath they could take account of other technologies that exist or are emerging.”
National Grid says it has sent 40,000 households between Bridgwater and Avonmouth a newsletter with route details.
Under its plans, 90 pylons would disappear from the Somerset landscape, while the 35-metre T-pylon, a third shorter than the traditional lattice pylon, would be used for much of the overhead route.
Peter Bryant, senior project manager, said: “Over the past four years we have listened to what the public has told us and this has played a big part in how we’ve developed our plans.
“We know people are concerned about the connection’s impact on the landscape.
“We have tried to strike the best balance between reducing this and being mindful of the cost that ends up on everyone’s bills from all our connection projects around the country.
"Based on what people have told us and the guidelines we have to follow, we believe we have the balance right but now we’re asking people to come along to our consultation events and tell us what they think.
“This could be the last chance they have of influencing our proposals before we submit our planning application in early 2014."
There will be exhibitions at the following places and times:
- Westfield United Reformed Church, in West Street, Bridgwater, September 19, exhibition from 10am to 6pm, question and answer session from 7pm to 8.30pm
- Stogursey Victory Hall, October 8, exhibition from 5pm to 7pm, question and answer session from 7pm to 8pm
- Mark village hall, exhibition from 9.30am to 2.30pm on September 21, followed by a question and answer session from 3pm to 4.30pm.
A consultation vehicle will be at the following places.
- Morrisons in Bridgwater, October 1, 8am to 4.30pm
- Morrisons in Burnham, October 3, from 9.30am to 4pm
- Bridgwater College, October 9, 9.30am to 4pm
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