Going underground to remove blot of pylons on local beauty spots
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.
Pylons over the Dwyryd Estuary