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Monster New Pylons in Unspoiled West Aberdeenshire! Project Wound Down in 2017

This is the website of West Aberdeenshire Pylon Action (WAPA).

After recommendation by NG (National Grid) in Jan 2017 not to proceed, SSE have put their project on hold for the time being. WAPA met SSE representatives on 27 March 2017 to seek clarification. We got some. SSE only evaluate technical need to transmit new power, whereas NG look at the grid right across Great Britain and select only priority projects using financial models. Crucial will be NG’s annual NOA (Network Options Assessment) reports in coming years. If NG then think that Beauly-Keith-Kintore is a priority, SSE could re-start the project. They would likely merely update the conclusions they have already reached. WAPA felt this continues the uncertainty for us all.  Greg Clarke of SSE undertook to write to WAPA to try to allay our concerns. See what you think about his note.  Minutes from the 27 March meeting are being finalised.

See SSE Press Release of 14 March. See also recent WAPA newsletters.

A huge tower on the Beauly / Denny line.
A 400kV tower on the Beauly / Denny line. Note the figure at the base for scale!

BACKGROUND

  1. In 2015 and 2016, SSE planned to erect huge (50m/165ft) pylons from Keith to Kintore through untouched beautiful rural Aberdeenshire

2. This was wrong – see below the unspoiled landscapes and pristine environment that would be affected

3. There were better alternatives

  • Double the planned capacity of the new submarine cable planned from Peterhead to England
  • Bury new power lines while constructing the new dualled A96 between Inverness – Keith – Kintore. Two major infrastructure projects “from A to B” on similar timescale – surely Scotland can get its act together at minimal total cost?
  • Develop the existing pylon corridor from Keith to Kintore. Strengthen it or build within or nearby. This corridor is much shorter, lower cost and goes through lower sensitivity environments than does SSE’s ‘2016 preferred corridor’ according to SSE’s own research.


LANDSCAPES THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AFFECTED

See new film ( click on photo to view )  showing the beautiful untouched area that SSE’s 2016 corridor would vandalise (thanks to Graham at Aeroglen Ltd aeroglenltd@aol.com). Also see the shorter version here.

Beautiful rural landscapes under threat:

Leith Hall
Leith Hall, Kennethmont next to SSE’s 2016 preferred pylon corridor
Unspoiled views from Bennachie
Hiker on Bennachie enjoys immense unspoiled views over SSE’s 2016 preferred pylon corridor

Wildlife, the rare Scottish Wildcat lives here, red squirrels as well.