How to Object
This page is of historical interest only in view of SSE’s decision to wind its project down (March 2017). WAPA is not asking its supporters to communicate to MPs, MSPs, Counsellors or anyone else at this time.
The Scottish Government is undertaking a consultation on the future of planning. This is an important opportunity to get the guidelines changed to prevent pylons being installed in our landscape in future. Existing Scottish Government policy states that companies developing transmission infrastructure on behalf of the National Grid should ‘give consideration’ to underground grid connections where possible. Replacing the word ‘consideration’ with ‘preference’ is all that is needed. One word – big difference.
Please write to John McNairney (Chief Planner); Ian Gilzean (Chief Architect) and Marion Hunt (Planning Decisions Officer at: Planning Review Team, Planning and Architecture Division, The Scottish Government, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ . Consultations close on the 4th April 2017
West Aberdeenshire Pylon Action
20th Feb 2017
Mike Rumbles MSP has advised WAPA that the Welsh Assembly recently adopted a resolution in respect of the future requirements for power transmission lines, that they be installed underground or undersea in National Parks and areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty where feasible.
As a result, he is tabling a motion in the Scottish Parliament on 7th February 2017 that Scotland should also adopt this policy. In order to maximise cross party support, it is important that as many people as possible email their MSP’s requesting them to support the motion. Note, this would apply to other areas of Scotland as well – not just the North East.
A sample letter is provided below which you may wish to use as a template. Please act soon, as this is a very important issue.
The Scottish Parliament
27th January 2017
Title: Blackhillock to Kintore Transmission Line
Motion Number S5M-03637 Mike Rumbles MSP
I am writing to you with reference to the above named and numbered Motion. As you may be aware, the Welsh Assembly has adopted a resolution as follows:
The motion that the National Assembly for Wales believes that:
a) the National Grid should use underground or undersea cables or alternatives to carry electricity through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Wales where feasible;
b) there should be a preference for underground cables or alternatives rather than electricity pylons in any new or current developments in Wales by the National Grid; and
c) Ofgem should commit to continue and extend the Visual Impact Provision project for Wales to replace current pylons with underground cables or other alternatives was passed with 51 members for and none against.
I believe that this resolution is as applicable to the Scottish environment as it is to the Welsh, and I request your support for the motion when it is brought before the Scottish Parliament. Furthermore, and with reference to the plans under development for the Blackhillock to Kintore transmission line, I object to this proposal in its current form and request that you support the motion which sets out to protect the natural beauty of the area that this proposed development will damage.
1. Send email or letter to:
- SSE Project Manager Greig Taylor (email@example.com)
- Alex Burnett MSP (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mike Rumbles MSP (email@example.com)
- Alex Salmond MP (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Stuart Donaldson MP (email@example.com)
2. What to tell them
Your own view matters above any that we (the WAPA core group) might have. Our thoughts are:
- that SSE’s decision for their 2016 preferred corridor is wrong – an existing pylon route already exists near the A96 which SSE should follow and not despoil other beautiful untouched landscapes that tourists currently come to see
- their decision-making was based on vague criteria: no one understands why they chose their 2016 corridor
- they should instead look at more acceptable 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 low sensitivity environments than does SSE’s ‘2016 preferred corridor’ according to SSE’s own research.
Tell them why building huge pylons in unspoiled landscape through unspoiled rural areas of West Aberdeenshire is just plain wrong. 50m pylons will be seen for miles. Bennachie is a Special Landscape Area in Aberdeenshire’s 2016 Plan. SSE themselves say that the Howe of Alford is high sensitivity area.
2. Object to SSE’s project manager, Greig Taylor
4. Donate to WAPA. Just what you can afford. Most on the core group donated £50 each. We have raised nearly £1000 since May 2016 from both CLAMPA and WAPA voluntary contributions (CLAMPA was the group that started first in restricted area of Craigearn, Leschangie, And Monymusk). You can pledge your donation by email to WAPA on