Over 200 members of the public have voted against Scottish Power’s plans to reduce the visual impact of the controversial Beauly to Denny electricity pylon route and joined with the Council to call for an improved plan. The public meeting was called by Stirling Council after the Scottish Government approved the line of the power route but asked Scottish Power and the Council to work together to come up with plans to mitigate the effect of the planned giant pylons in the area around Stirling and the Wallace Monument.
Scottish Power put forward plans which involved painting the pylons to blend in with the surroundings and planting to try to shield them. These plans were slammed by the chair of the Council’s Power Line steering group, Councillor Calum Campbell, who said, “When you have 50 metre high towers, I’m afraid planting trees and painting the pylons is not effective visual mitigation.”
The Council would prefer the 20k section of the line around Stirling to be buried underground but Scottish Power has rejected this on the cost and time grounds.
The Company originally submitted mitigation measures for the section of the line between Stirling and Falkirk in February 2011 but the Scottish Government asked them to look at the issue again and following new plans, the Council called the public meeting at Wallace High School to gauge public opinion on the plans. Attendees voted predominately against the proposals.
However a spokesman for Scottish Power told the BBC that because the Scottish Government had already approved the plan for overhead lines in the Stirling area that the Company was not obliged to bury the cables and that the mitigation proposals suggested by Scottish Power were sufficient. Mitigation measures for other parts of the 220km line were agreed in October 2010. The timescale for approval of the measures around Stirling is not yet known although work is due to start on the line in 2014 with an estimated completion date of 2020.