Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

National Grid to spend £500M removing 'eyesore pylons'

National Grid is to spend £500M burying electricity cables in AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and National Parks to reduce the visual impact of overhead lines and pylons.

Twelve sections of high voltage lines in eight locations have been shortlisted as having the most significant landscape and visual impact, following an independent study, which assessed 571 km of electricity transmission lines.

The protected landscapes which have been singled out as having existing power lines with the most significant visual impact are:

  • Brecon Beacons National Park
  • Dorset AONB
  • High Weald AONB
  • New Forest National Park
  • North Wessex Downs AONB
  • Peak District National Park
  • Snowdonia National Park
  • Tamar Valley AONB.

Engineering measures which could be implemented include the replacement of existing overhead lines with underground cables, the re-routing and screening from key public viewpoints of the lines.

National Grid will also spend up to £24M – from the £500M funding pot – for smaller localised visual improvement projects.

A Stakeholder Advisory Group comprising organisations including the Campaign for National Parks, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Campaign to Protect Rural Wales, English Heritage, Natural England, and the National Trust, is helping National Grid to identify which transmission lines should be prioritised and how the fund should be allocated.

Members of the group have recommended that a study on a section of overhead line which crosses the River Tamar in the Tamar Valley AONB should now be progressed to assess the feasibility of engineering work to reduce its visual impact.    

Decisions about other shortlisted sites will be made in Spring 2015 following engagement with local stakeholders and further investigation of technical feasibility, economic, social, archaeological, environmental and heritage issues.

Readers' comments (2)

  • I notice that none of these parks are in Scotland. So the Small Glen and others are to suffer increasing numbers of pylons marching through them!


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • James Walley


    National Grid doesn't own the Scottish power grid, they only operate it...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.