National grid to remove pylons at UK beauty spots

National grid has unveiled plans to replace pylons with underground cables at four separate locations in the UK.

It plans to use a £500m grant from government regulator OFGEM to replace sections of high voltage over-head lines at locations in Dorset, the New Forest, the Peak District and Snowdonia.

The plans have been announced following a lengthy consultation period, which saw an initial shortlist of twelve locations whittled down to the four that have been announced today.

These four projects will be taken forward over the next 12 months for detailed technical feasibility works which will include environmental studies, archaeological studies and engineering work ‘on the ground’. There will also be further significant engagement with local stakeholders and communities.

Chris Baines, the prominent environmentalist and chair of the projects stakeholder advisory group, said: “Reducing the visual impact of pylons and power lines in our most precious landscapes is highly desirable, but it is also very expensive and technically complex so we have had to make some difficult decisions.

”Although four schemes have been prioritised, none of the locations on our original shortlist have been dropped and they will remain under consideration for future work to reduce the impact of National Grid’s transmission lines under the Visual Impact Provision project.”