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National Grid visual impact priority projects announced

National Grid has announced that four projects in protected landscapes in England and Wales have now been prioritised for work to reduce the visual impacts of overhead electricity lines, primarily through undergrounding. The prioritised projects were selected by the Stakeholder Advisory Group, which is guiding National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision work.

Following the announcement, Neil Sinden, Policy and Campaigns Director at the Campaign to Protect Rural England and a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Group said: “The landscape and visual impact studies along with subsequent technical work has put the Stakeholder Advisory Group in a good position to make well-informed decisions. It’s great that we’ve now been able to prioritise these four locations where work to reduce the visual impacts of overhead lines would make a big difference. National Grid will need to carry out detailed technical feasibility works and further engagement with local communities to ensure these projects can be successfully delivered. And we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that there are many other protected landscapes that will also need work to reduce visual impacts.

“Whilst the Visual Impact Provision work is very valuable, it is also expensive and technically complex.  This demonstrates how important it is to consider landscape impact early on and in detail when considering new parts of the network. We would like to see National Grid apply this approach in planning all new transmission lines, such as with the North West Coast Connection Project.”

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