Commenting on reports in the local media, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has claimed a major victory after new plans emerged for a tunnel under Morecambe Bay as the preferred way of transporting new power cables from Cumbria to the national grid.
National Grid has been asked to provide a connection into the electricity transmission network for the proposed new 3.4GW nuclear power station, Moorside, near Sellafield in West Cumbria and to export energy produced by a number of wind farms in the Irish Sea.
Work since then has focused on looking at onshore routes to the north of Moorside, where the potential exists to follow the path of existing power lines operated by Electricity North West.
To the south of Moorside, National Grid considered routes following the path of existing lines as well as routes across Morecambe Bay and through the Irish Sea. Where routes follow Electricity North West lines, there could be scope to remove some existing pylons.
Tim has, for that last five years, campaigned to stop electric pylons being built through the Lake District National Park. It seems that this campaign has led to today's good news.
OPTIONS BEING CONSULTED ON:
Following these studies, the company has now identified the routes which are its 'emerging preference' at this point in the project:
The detail of these routes will be shared during consultation in the autumn together with information on the other options under consideration, including routes offshore through the Irish Sea and overland around the South Lakes. However, there are significant practical, environmental and technical challenges associated with the delivery of both of these.
People are encouraged to register their details on the North West Coast Connections project website now to ensure they get regular updates on the project and details of the consultation: www.northwestcoastconnections.com
Tim said: "Today's announcement is good news and it looks like our five year campaign has led to this success . I have always worried that if we see large amounts of new cabling and pylons being built across the countryside, it would be a damaging blow to our world class landscape. It looks like that will not be the case. I would urge local residents to join in the consultation and keep pylons out of the National Park!"
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