Go­ing un­der­ground to re­move blot of py­lons on lo­cal beauty spots

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

THE first phase of a plan to re­move over­head py­lons from a Gwynedd beauty spot has been sub­mit­ted to coun­cil plan­ners.

The Na­tional Grid in­tends to re­move 10 of the py­lons and re­place them with a 3km tun­nel un­der the Dwyryd Es­tu­ary in or­der to re­duce the vis­ual im­pact on the site, which sits par­tially within Snow­do­nia Na­tional Park.

In prepa­ra­tion for a full plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, the com­pany has now sub­mit­ted a Screen­ing and Scop­ing Opin­ion to Gwynedd Coun­cil, Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales (NRW) and the Na­tional Park Au­thor­ity (NPA) to clar­ify if a full En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact As­sess­ment (EIA) is re­quired as part of their for­mal sub­mis­sion.

The scheme forms part of the Grid’s £500m vis­ual im­pact pro­vi­sion pro­gramme to re­move over­head py­lons in ar­eas of out­stand­ing nat­u­ral beauty.

This sec­tion of over­head line runs from the Garth Seal­ing End Com­pound (SEC), near Minf­fordd, and crosses the Dwyryd Es­tu­ary in Pen­rhyn­deu­draeth, where it en­ters the western edge of the Na­tional Park. It then con­tin­ues east­wards up to just be­yond the small set­tle­ment of Cil­for.

The sub­mis­sion sent to Gwynedd Coun­cil plan­ners, notes: “The pro­posed project com­prises the un­der­ground­ing of a 3km sec­tion of the ex­ist­ing 4ZC line be­tween py­lons 27 to 37 us­ing a tun­nel from Na­tional Grid’s ex­ist­ing Garth seal­ing end com­pound (SEC) to Cil­for on the east­ern side of the Dwyryd Es­tu­ary.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion now also in­cludes the re­moval of the ten py­lons through­out the length of the project, of which three py­lons fall within the marine en­vi­ron­ment and ju­ris­dic­tion of NRW, and so they are also in­cluded within this re­quest for an opin­ion.”

The sec­tion of over­head line, con­structed in 1966, is part of the 400kV elec­tric­ity route con­nect­ing the Pen­tir sub­sta­tion near Ban­gor with the former Trawsfynydd Power Sta­tion, now a 400kV sub­sta­tion.

How­ever, the com­pany has come un­der fire on An­gle­sey for sub­mit­ting plans for a new net­work of over­head py­lons on the island to con­nect Wylfa Newydd and other projects to the main net­work – against the wishes of the lo­cal au­thor­ity, AM and MP who are all call­ing for the ca­bles to be placed un­der­ground in­stead.

The Grid is, how­ever, propos­ing to con­struct a tun­nel un­der the Me­nai Strait in or­der to min­imise the vis­ual im­pact, de­spite calls from is­landers for the ca­bles to be car­ried on a pro­posed third Me­nai Strait cross­ing in­stead.

Picture: Kevin Wil­liams, ge­o­graph.org.uk

Py­lons over the Dwyryd Es­tu­ary

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