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Call for more public input into power pylon plans

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By Abbey Morton
Front
Call for more public input into power pylon plans

OPPOSITION to plans for a new pylon powerline across the region is mounting, it has been claimed.

And Scottish Power Energy Networks is being accused of a lack of consultation with residents of Dumfries and Galloway.
Earlier this week a meeting was held to discuss the impact the construction could have and to inform people of the plans, implications and possible detrimental effect on the region.
Alan Jones, a chartered electrical engineer, spoke at a meeting this week of the Federation of Community Councils for Nithsdale.
He said: “Generally people are struggling with this proposal by Scottish Power, I have a little bit of a background with this sort of thing so I am trying to help people.”
And explaining potential risks, he said: “If this goes ahead it could jeopardise the very delicate Dumfries and Galloway economy with regards to the tourism, recreation and hospitality industry which this year increased to over £300 million for the first time.”
Mr Jones commented that Dumfries and Galloway people fully accept the need for infrastructure updates but are keen to see them done in the most sympathetic way.
He said: “It’s how we can mitigate the impact.”
Councillor Andrew Wood said: “My constituents don’t believe Scottish Power Energy Networks are engaging, they feel like the decision has already been made.”
Responding, project manager at SP Energy Network’s Colin Brown said they take on board all of the feedback they receive and is urging all residents who have any comments to make their views known.
He said: “No decisions have been taken at this stage. The feedback that we receive helps to inform and shape our plans.”
Mr Brown explained the transmission network in Dumfries and Galloway is 80 years old and needed upgraded.
He said: “We have examined a range of options to deliver this, and we need to balance economic, technical and environmental considerations.
“At this stage of the project, our studies indicate that an overhead line is the most feasible option.
“However, we will continue to consider the use of underground cables in certain areas as we consult and develop the detailed route of the line.”
He also explained that the first stage of the consultation was extended by over a month, taking the overall period to three months, and said that they are keen to give people as much time as possible to review plans and make comments.
It was also stressed that this is the first of several rounds of consultation.
Over 700 people have so far attended events to look at the plans and discuss the proposals.

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