22 November 2018
NWCC Pylons project dropped by National Grid

Friends of the Lake District is pleased to see that the threat of 400kV powerlines and associated pylons through and around the Lake District National Park has at least for the moment been halted as National Grid pulls back from the North West Coast Connections project. 

The proposal to connect a proposed nuclear power station at Moorside on the west Cumbrian Coast was always going to prove very technically difficult and expensive for National Grid because the power cables would need to pass through or around the Lake District National Park as well as potentially causing damaging the Arnside and Silverdale and Solway Coast AONBs. 

We worked closely with National Grid to persuade them to protect the Lake District from damage by pylons.  Whilst we were successful in encouraging National Grid to underground cables within the Lake District, they still proposed to erect 50-60m tall pylons just metres outside the National Park boundary. It is therefore a relief that the project has at least for the time being been dropped. 

We understand that Moorside is still on the Government’s list of proposed nuclear power plant sites, so we will obviously keep a close eye on plans for the site and 400kV grid connections.  We do hope that if it comes forward again that common sense prevails and that powerlines will be kept outside of the nationally and internationally protected landscape of the Lake District.

Friends of the Lake District would like to thank everyone who supported our campaigns in 2014 and 2016 including those who donated and those who took the time to write letters to National Grid.  We will be keeping you informed of any further developments.

17th May 2017

National Grid NWCC Plans On Hold

Yesterday we were contacted by National Grid who let us know that they are putting their work on NWCC on hold due to uncertainty over the future of the Moorside nuclear power station project.  NuGEN are undertaking a "strategic review" of their project, and looking for a new funder as Toshiba are pulling their backing due to financial problems.  This means that there is no current need case at the moment for a grid link.

National Grid have stated: "In line with NuGen’s review, we are pausing work on our connection. This will ensure we can align our plans both for the application for consent and the development of the infrastructure itself.”

You can read more about this pause here in the News and Star, and see Grid's official statement here.

As yet, we don't know what this will mean for the project and its impact on the Lake District National Park, but we will obviously be keeping a close watch on what happens next.

23rd February 2017

Ofgem Consultation on the Need for North West Coast Connections

Friends of the Lake District commented on a consultation from Ofgem the energy regulator which asked:

"In this consultation we have set out our initial views on National Grid’s North West Coast Connections project which would connect a proposed new nuclear power station in Cumbria to the main transmission network in Great Britain.

This document covers three broad assessment areas:

  1. Whether we think there is a technical need for the project.
  2. How NGET has narrowed down the option it has taken forward to its planning consultation.
  3. Whether the project, or sections of it, are suitable for competitive tender.

This consultation is aimed at parties interested in our views on the first project we have assessed under both of these frameworks, including potential bidders, incumbent network operators, interested consumer groups, as well as other relevant stakeholders."

Click here to see a copy of our response

6th January 2017

Friends of the Lake District made its response to the NWCC consultation.

You can read it here. Click to see document

Thank you to everyone who has contacted National Grid with your concerns. As of 2pm there have been more than 2270 letters written to National Grid via the website and we know of plenty more people who have written separately. Hopefully we can stop National Grid spoiling the Duddon Estuary and the Furness peninsula pictured above.