Suggested points to make in your response to National Grid

  • Despite the welcome news that powerlines within the Lake District are to be put underground, the powerlines and pylons proposed just outside of the National Park will still damage the landscape of the Lake District.

  • The new 400kV pylon size is vastly increased compared to the 132kV pylons. The existing pylons are only 12% of the size of those proposed which are nearly twice as tall and 7 times as big by volume. National Grid keep saying that there is only a “small difference” in size. This is just not true.

  • National Grid has not taken the setting[1] of the Lake District National Park into account in its consultation.   National Grid says that the setting of a national park only applies when standing inside of the Lake District looking out.  This completely disregards the experience of standing outside of the National Park looking into the high fells from places like the Duddon Valley and the Cumbrian coast.

  • In other places where National Grid is developing power lines, it has used a definition of setting which includes views into a protected landscape.  These include the Afon Glaslyn near Snowdonia and the Mendip Hills AONB in Somerset.

  • The Lake District is a candidate World Heritage Site and should be treated accordingly.  Development near World Heritage Sites is subject to strict planning regulations, which includes taking their setting into account.  National Grid has not done this adequately, and the proposals for pylons in the Whicham Valley and Duddon Estuary may threaten the Lake District’s candidacy with UNESCO.

  • National Grid has deliberately set the bar so high on what it considers to be a significant impact on the landscape from pylons that it doesn’t think it needs to put any mitigation measures in place to reduce or prevent harm to the landscape and to stop damage to the Lake District landscape from pylons just outside the boundary. National Grid needs to reconsider its evaluation of the landscape damage that its development will cause.

  • National Grid has put forward two options that would avoid the damage that the proposed overhead lines and pylons in the Whicham Valley and the head of the Duddon Estuary setting would cause to the Lake District in its consultation.  They would also avoid damaging impacts on the Duddon Mosses Special Area of Conservation, and internationally important wildlife site. 

  • These are:

    • An offshore 400kV cable from Kirksanton to the Fylde; and

    • A tunnel under the Duddon Estuary.

  • However National Grid has side-lined both these options on cost grounds.  One of them, the preference being the Offshore cable route should be taken forward by National Grid as a solution to the problem as National Grid should not be sacrificing our internationally important landscapes and wildlife sites on cost grounds.

  • If neither of these options are taken forward, as a last resort, National Grid should offer undergrounding up the Whicham Valley and around the head of the Duddon Estuary to protect the Lake District National Park.

  • National Grid has shown that it can do the right thing by the Lake District National Park when it said that it will underground the 400kV cable, it just needs to take that one last step to finish the job to protect the Whicham and Duddon Valleys landscape and wildlife.

 [1] The setting of a national park is the area outside whose landscape compliments that of the National Park itself, either through similarity or contrast, and in some way supports or enhances its landscape through views into or out of the National Park.