Say no to pylons in the Duddon estuary and Furness peninsula

Power without Pylons and Friends of the Lake District are running an excellent campaign to keep pylons out of the Duddon Estuary and Furness Peninsula. I urge you to visit their sites and sign up to keep the pressure on NWCC and the Government to ensure that our beautiful landscape is not blighted by enormous pylons.

A copy of my letter to the National Grid is below:

05 January 2017

Dear Mr Powell

Response to National Grid’s North West Coast Connections (NWCC) Preliminary Environmental Impact Report. 

It has been a tremendous privilege to live and work in the Furness peninsula. It is one of the most stunning areas in the UK. Of course, it is not just lakes - hills, valleys and rich coastline mark the area out as unique in the country. Indeed, it's no surprise that the Lake District is a candidate World Heritage Site. It should be treated accordingly.

I'm very glad that NWCC have decided to ensure that cables will be put underground in the National Park. However, it is essential that beyond these points, the same thing occurs. The beauty of the Lake District does not end at artificial boundaries. The Duddon Estuary's incredible beauty is testament to this. It would be wholly wrong therefore to build 50m high pylons (as tall as Nelson's Column!) in an area where people choose to live due to the natural environment, and where nature tourism is responsible for many local jobs (estimated to be almost £2.5bn each year).

I would urge everyone involved in this decision-making process, from the Government to National Grid to reconsider the proposals currently on the table. The Duddon Estuary, the Whicham Valley and the Furness peninsula deserve parity with the conditions being granted to the National Park. I would urge all parties to accept the recommendation that the cables are buried and run either offshore from Kirksanton to the Fylde or, as an alternate option, through a tunnel under the Duddon Estuary.

National Grid should not be sacrificing our internationally important landscapes and wildlife sites on cost grounds. They are prepared to spend significant sums of money in burying cables and constructing tunnels elsewhere, such as between Furness and Morecambe. The Duddon Estuary is just as valuable and deserves the same treatment.

Local opinion is united against these plans. I truly hope that NWCC and the Government hear our concerns and act accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Fell

Conservative Spokesman for Barrow & Furness