Councillors recommended not to object to pylon plans

Dumfries and Galloway councillors have been advised not to raise objections to Scottish Power Energy Networks’ new overhead pylon line through the Glenkelns landscape, despite a huge public outcry.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 2:42 pm
The campaign group Galloway Against Pylons have made their feelings clear

The proposals are for the replacement of the existing 132kV transmission overhead lines (OHLs) between Polquhanity in the north, through the existing Glenlee substation, and south to the Tongland substation.

The OHLs to be replaced, including the supporting steel towers, currently connect five hydro-electric powers stations that serve Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire.

Scottish Ministers are responsible for authorising new electricity transmission networks of 132kV, and have consulted the council as part of this process. As the local planning authority a decision to object would trigger a public local inquiry.

A report by Steve Rogers, head of Economy and Development, will go before the Planning Applications Committee tomorrow (Wednesday).

It states: “The assessment has highlighted limited significant landscape, visual and cumulative effects but not in such a manner as to conflict with adopted council landscape guidance and other policies contained within the standing Development Plan.

"It is therefore recommended Dumfries and Galloway Council do not object to the proposal, and notify the Scottish Ministers as such.”

However, the campaign group Galloway Without Pylons has won support from hundreds of community councils, politicians, businesses and individuals calling for the cabling to be put underground, and feels a public inquiry may be necessary.

Spokesman Stuart Littlewood said: “A huge number of objections submitted during the consultation insist on the most sensitive stretches of the line being underground.

"There appears to be no mention of undergrounding in the report to councillors, which is very odd considering it is crucial.

"Furthermore, given the groundswell of local opinion against the proposal, our elected representatives should reflect public concerns and not be told by their officials to keep quiet.

"If councillors objected to this proposal it would trigger a public local inquiry, we're told. Maybe that's exactly what is needed!”