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Impact of overhead lines to be reduced in four areas

Four locations have been chosen to take part in a £500M project to reduce the visual impact of overhead power lines in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The places are a Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near Winterbourne Abbas; the New Forest National Park near Hale; the Peak District National Park near Dunford Bridge; and Snowdonia National Park near Porthmadog.

Over the next year, the areas will undergo detailed technical feasibility works, including environmental studies, archaeological studies and engineering work. Ways in which the visual impact of the lines could be reduced include putting them in underground cables.

Alongside these four locations, there is also a £24M initiative for smaller landscape enhancement projects set for a winter launch.

The decision on the final locations was made following technical work from the National Grid and independent landscape consultants as well as input from local stakeholders.

There was an initial shortlist of 12 locations. The decision was made by the project’s stakeholder advisory group.

Chair of the stakeholder advisory group Chris Baines said: “Reducing the visual impact of pylons and power lines in our most precious landscapes is highly desirable, but it is also very expensive and technically complex so we have had to make some difficult decisions.

“Although four schemes have been prioritised, none of the locations on our original shortlist have been dropped and they will remain under consideration for future work to reduce the impact of National Grid’s transmission lines under the Visual Impact Provision project.”

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