Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Say NO to Pylons

Scottish Power Energy Networks Pylon Proposal

Dear Kirkmahoe resident.

As you’ll know, Scottish Power Energy Networks plan to replace high power voltage lines from South Ayrshire to Harker in Carlisle. This is to allow the transmission of electricity to Northern Ireland and England. Their intention is to replace existing 132kv lines with 400kv lines. These lines will travel on massive 164 ft pylons, well above the existing height of the military low flying aircraft we have across parts of this area.

The current line runs south from New Galloway to Tongland Kirkcudbright through under populated areas. It then turns north, again through under populated areas, to skirt the southern edges of Dumfries.

Their proposed replacement route follows a narrow corridor travelling through some of the prettiest countryside in Dumfriesshire. In particular it will travel through Dunscore, Burnhead, Duncow, Kirkton, etc. The exact route has not been admitted by SPEN, but since this is a very narrow corridor of land, it will be impossible to avoid huge visual impact on this area. Apart from the visual impact we can expect from these brutally massive towers, there is well documented evidence of reduced house values in areas close to such pylons.

The SPEN documents suggest they “want to keep any impact on the area’s natural and built heritage, including the people who work there to a minimum”. We might therefore expect they would follow the existing route, or put the line underground.

There is clearly an absolute contradiction between the statement above and the intention to bring columns of 164 ft pylons down a narrow, gently contoured corridor of land.

This SPEN proposed route, and transmission method is quite obviously based on money. Lowest possible installation costs, and maximum long-term revenue for those exporting electricity to Northern Ireland and England. This proposal is not in keeping with this gentle valley of rolling hillsides and pretty hamlets. Following the existing route, and then taking the new line under the seabed to Harker is perfectly viable. There are already west and east coast undersea routes from Scotland to England. Our concerns about our small community in terms of house property values and visual amenity will be trampled underfoot unless we act now to lodge our objections.

Objections must be lodged by 24th July. The Community Council is trying to arrange a presentation for us all in Kirkton village hall at the weekend, to help us decide the most effective means of challenging the proposal. Please watch on the blog or Facebook for further updates on this.

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