Monymusk Meeting 5 Oct 2016

60 people came to hear Fergus McGhie inform people about SSE’s plans for huge 50m average height pylons from Keith to Kintore.

Main points of the presentation (see: monymusk-5oct2016-meeting-red) were:

  • SSE plc telling not listening, ie. not consulting the local populace
  • CLAMPA (& WAPA) need resources to fight this proposal, esp. a knowledgable engineer to better understand electric power transmission and distribution systems
  • this is a valuable landscape worth preserving
  • campaign must be realistic – additional power distribution will occur in UK, as a national necessity. Question is where? Drivers are demand and renewables (Scottish Government drive)
  • Main market is south – southern Scotland and England
  • Main players: National & Scottish Governments, National Grid, SSE and Scottish Power in Scotland
  • Transmission routes will be expedited for lowest cost and maximum profit
  • SSE plc argue security of supply in region, necessitating reinforcement of Beauly-Blackhillock-Kintore transmission, with upgrade of one 275kV line and new 400kV OHL
  • Ignored alternative technologies eg. subsurface burial (undergrounding) and submarine cables in sensitive areas England and Wales
  • Other large projects tied into Blackhillock (MeyGen in Pentland Firth, Caithness-Moray link & Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL))
  • New projects will benefit local communities temporarily, but once complete, jobs will evaporate
  • Aberdeen growth myth – oil industry in decline, many decommissioning projects in next 5 years
  • CLAMPA (Bill Henderson) meeting with SSE plc senior managers in Holyrood 15/9 facilitated by Alex Burnett MSP; Mike Rumbles MSP also attended. Rumbles asked why not A96 corridor – SSE response “too difficult and can’t get past Inverurie”. Note however, that SSE said they had strong government pressure not to set community against community.
  • CLAMPA FoI (Freedom of Information) requests to government & local planning authorities re. ‘steer’ given to SSE
  • Herculean task to fight this project but must fight on. Encourage all concerned to write their MPs and MSPs, plus other politicians (Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson) local planning authorities, newspapers, with concerns re. environment, jobs etc. Take one of the lists of names and email contacts. More roadside notices and banners will be deployed

Actions to oppose SSE plc’s plans for huge pylons in rural West Aberdeenshire – better options exist