Today National Grid published a draft policy covering what they will do to spend the recently granted £500 million allowance that can be used to underground existing lines in nationally designated landscapes between now and 2020. National Grid will consult on the draft over 8 weeks. The fund could be spent on:
- Placing lines underground;
- Screening and landscaping;
- Replacing existing and outdated pylons with those of an alternative design (e.g. the recently launched ‘T Pylon’ design); and/or
- Re-routeing and rationalising existing lines
The Campaign for National Parks (CNP), The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), and the Campaign to Protect Rural Wales (CRRW) will work with a new national stakeholder group organised by National Grid. It is hoped that the group will begin meeting before the end of this year.
Paul Miner, Senior Planning Campaigner for CPRE said:
‘We welcome National Grid’s continued progress in making sure that this exciting opportunity to reinstate and enhance our finest landscapes is turned into real action on the ground. For too long, pylons have blighted a number of our finest landscapes. This allowance can help us make a start to address and make good this damage’.
Peter Ogden, Director of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, agreed by saying:
‘National Grid’s initiative marks an important step forward in recognising the true value, pleasure and the enormous range of public benefits our finest landscapes provide to the nation. We hope this prompt captures the imagination of others to follow and help declutter these iconic and invaluable areas of Wales and England’.
Ruth Bradshaw, Policy and Research Manager for the Campaign for National Parks, added:
‘We’re really pleased that the opportunity for more pylon free views in National Parks has moved a step closer as a result of National Grid publishing their draft policy. Its great timing too as this is National Parks Week and we look forward to working closely with National Grid and other stakeholders to ensure the allowance is implemented successfully’.
The Campaign for National Parksis the independent national voice for the 13 National Parks in England and Wales. Our mission is to inspire everyone to enjoy and look after National Parks – the nation’s green treasures. www.cnp.org.uk
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Sir Andrew Motion, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen. www.cpre.org.uk
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) was established in 1928 and is Wales’ foremost landscape Charity. Through its work as an environmental watchdog, it aims to secure the protection and responsible stewardship of all the landscapes of rural Wales and safeguard the wellbeing and quality of life of those who live in, use and enjoy these areas.