Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Plans for new pylons could cut across National Parks

Pylons in the Lake District Pylons in the Lake District Photo: © CPRE

There are already 22,000 high voltage pylons covering 4,375 miles (7,000 km) of overhead lines across England and Wales. Most of these are in the countryside.

The Government is developing its policies on the future of electricity production and transmission. We are concerned that this may involve far more high-voltage lines across England and Wales, covering the Lake District and Snowdonia National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), and Green Belt land close to our major towns and cities.

We are one of a number of organisations calling for a ‘smart grid’ of pylons, which would make the best use of existing energy resources and avoid harm to our most important areas of countryside.

Our viewIndustry guidelines already say that overhead lines and substations should not be placed in (AONBs), National Parks, heritage coasts or World Heritage Sites if possible. Yet despite  these guidelines, there are already 27,000 kilometres of overhead distribution lines and 420 km of overhead transmission lines in National Parks and AONBs. We believe that the National Policy Statement on electricity transmission should avoid new high voltage power lines in AONBs, and there should be more research into effective methods of storing electricity.

Wirescapes or landscapes? (226K PDF)

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Suffolk boats on Aldeburgh beach Suffolk coast AONB