How to respond to the National Grid PLC consultation

Q    Why should I respond?
A    This is the last chance to stop National Grid’s proposals to erect 50m pylons at the head of the Whicham Valley, around the Duddon Estuary and across the Furness peninsula. These 400kV pylons would not just be “slightly taller” than existing ones, as National Grid describes them. This is the biggest type of pylon in use in this country – twice as high, and more than twice as wide. Their volume will be 7.76 times that of the 132kV pylons we have now: that’s a massive footprint. The proposals would destroy landscapes, disrupt communities and leave a legacy for many generations to come.

Q    What good will responding do?
A    Public pressure has already caused National Grid to change its plans. It has scrapped plans to put pylons through the National Park and agreed to bury cables underground instead. This is a huge victory: it would not have happened without mass opposition. We now need to fight to protect the setting of the National Park and get National Grid to adopt a pylon-free alternative outside the park boundaries. The more people who object, the greater the chance we have of winning this battle.

Q    Who can respond?
A    Anyone can respond. You don’t have to be an adult and you don’t have to live in this area. Make sure every member of your household responds individually and encourage friends, neighbours and visitors to the area to do so. It’s important that National Grid receives as many individual responses as possible.

Q    How can I respond?
A    There are four ways to respond:

  • Email nationalgrid@northwestcoastconnections.com. Make sure that you say that your email is a response to the NWCC consultation.
  • Fill in a consultation feedback form. You can pick one up at a consultation event or an information point or call 0800 876 6990 to receive a form in the post. Fill in your details on P1, answer any questions you choose to answer, put your comments on P4 or P7 and send the form to FREEPOST NG NWCC (no stamp required).
  • Register at www.northwestcoastconnections.com to respond online.
  • Write a letter and send it to FREEPOST NG NWCC. Make sure that you say that your email is a response to the NWCC consultation.

Q    What should I say?
A    Explain how the proposals affect you personally. Be as specific as you can and say how you think the proposals could and should be changed. On the back of this leaflet you’ll find examples of points you might want to make but remember to use your own words.

Q    What alternatives are there to pylons?
A    The main options are:

  • Offshore: In 2014 National Grid put forward a sub-sea route from Moorside to Heysham as an option. We still believe this is feasible. And now that the onshore cost has risen to £2.8bn, the completely offshore solution would be cheaper.
  • Sub-sea cable from Silecroft to Rossall , near Heysham: This is another option that National Grid has said is feasible.
  • Duddon Tunnel: Proposals include a tunnel under Morecambe Bay. If this is possible, building a tunnel under the Duddon Estuary is also possible. Again, National Grid has said this is feasible.
  • Undergrounding through the Whicham Valley, around the Duddon Estuary, and across the Furness peninsula.
  • There are several other ways of crossing the Duddon Estuary to avoid the use of pylons.

National Grid feels that the pylon route around the estuary is the most cost-effective solution. However, they are prepared to spend millions on burying cables and constructing tunnels elsewhere. We believe that the Duddon Estuary is just as valuable and deserves the same treatment.

Q    When do I need to respond?
A    You have until 5pm on 6 January 2017 to submit a response. You don’t have to give your feedback at a National Grid consultation event. You may prefer to go through the documents, ask questions, wait for more information, advice and guidance, and give yourself time to consider your response. But please respond. If you think you might forget, do it now!

Q    What help can I get?
A    We’ll keep adding information to this website. We’re busy studying the proposals so we can help you respond and we’ll be holding surgeries between now and the end of the consultation period. Look out for details on our website, on local notices and in social media. You can email us at info@powerwithoutpylons.org.uk
to ask for help with your response. Other groups are fighting to stop pylons too and we’ll share what they’re doing to help.

Q    What points can I make?
A    Here are some examples of reasons why you might object to the proposals
• The new pylons (indicate location) would greatly affect the natural beauty of the (specify area or the setting of the Lake District)
• The new pylons (indicate location) would affect my enjoyment of natural beauty of the (the setting of the Lake District or specify area) from my (house / from places I visit / from places I walk or cycle / from routes I regularly I travel along such as the A595 north of Barrow or the routes over Kirkby Moor to the Duddon estuary / my place of work, and so on).
• The new pylons (indicate location) would have a negative impact on my business because (tourists visit for the Lake District scenery not for a view of xx pylons or other reason).
• The pylons would affect my future plans to develop my business and contribute to the local economy.
• The new pylons (indicate location) would limit the use of my property, fields, etc.
• The installation of the new pylons (indicate location) would affect my property, fields, etc. by limiting use for agriculture etc.
• The new pylons (indicate location – eg Duddon Mosses) would be in a Site of Special Scientific Interest / Special Area of Conservation and I am concerned about the effect of the installation on protected environments.
• I am concerned about noise from the pylons (indicate location).
• I am concerned about electrical and magnetic fields (EMFs) from pylons (indicate location).
• I do not feel the consultation has been conducted fairly or fully because National Grid has not taken account of public views to preserve the setting of the Lake District as an area of natural beauty but has only placed cables underground where pylons would fall within the National Park.
• I do not feel the impact of the pylons on the local community will be adequately compensated by National Grid

National Grid is suggesting tree planting or screening to mitigate the visual impact of large pylons on the landscape. Indicate locations where you think this would be ineffective and suggest what else you think could be done. You could suggest examples from the ‘what alternatives are there to pylons?’ section overleaf.

YOUR FEEDBACK COUNTS
National Grid has a duty to consult fully and fairly before it submits its proposals to the Planning Inspectorate. National Grid will want to be sure those proposals will gain planning permission but it also needs to show the Planning Inspectorate that it has heeded feedback. It’s important that as many people as possible respond to the consultation to show the strength of opposition and force National Grid to think again.
WE’VE DONE IT BEFORE AND WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!
SO PLEASE RESPOND AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME