Pylons plan attracts criticism

The Scottish Government has now approved the plans drawn up by power companies to try and miminise the visual impact of the controversial Beauly to Denny powerline. The plans inlcude putting 100km of existing overhead power cables underground.

Conservation charity, the John Muir Trust (JMT) said the measures did not go far enough to safeguard Scotland’s landscape.

When Scottish ministers granted planning permssion for the 220 km high voltage power line consisting of 600 pylons, some more than 60 metres high, it left it up to the developers to come up with plans to mitigate the effect on the environment. It is those plans which have now been approved, although measures for the Stirling area, where the pylons will pass close to the Wallace Monument, have yet to be considered. The detail includes:

– 6km of line and pylons around Beauly to be buried underground

– 53km of existing line and pylons between Boat of Garten and Cairnmore in the Cairngorms National Park to be removed completely

– 40km of steel pylons between Etteridge and Boat of Garten to be replaced with lines supported by wooden poles or by underground cables

-10km of overhead line around Whitebridge and Amulree to be buried

– 8km of line in and around Muthill to be replaced with underground cables

The JMT, who campaigned against the pylons, said: “This announcement merely raises questions as to why only a third of the line can potentially be put underground, while 600 giant pylons will still cut a swathe through the Highlands”.

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