1. ITV Report

Walkers say no to pylons in the Lake District

The National Grid plans to erect 75 more pylons, some in the National Park Photo: ITV News Border

Controversial plans to put 20 miles of pylons across parts of the Lake District National Park in West Cumbria have come under fire, as campaigners took their banners up Black Combe in the Duddon Valley.

The pylons would carry electricity from a new power station near Sellafield. The National Grid is still deciding whether it can afford to put some of the cables underground.

"There are existing pylons in the Lake District at the moment and they're already bad enough as it is: they're 25m high. The proposed pylons from the National Grid are 50m high, so that's not just twice the height, it's almost nearly seven times the volume of pylons, so there's going to be a lot more wires, a lot more metal and just a lot more disturbance to the landscape."

– Kate Willshaw, Friends of the Lake District
The protesters don't want pylons in the Lake District National Park Credit: ITV News Border

The National Grid plans to erect 75 pylons to take electricity for 20 miles from a proposed new nuclear power station near Sellafield.

Putting all those cables underground would cost an extra £450m, adding around 40p a year to the average electricity bill in England and Wales.

The campaigners think it would be worth the money.

"It will put tourists off coming to the area. It's going to spoil all the views and people come to the Lake District for the views."

– Lynette Gilligan, Power Without Pylons campaigner

"And it's not only going to destroy it for the people who live here now but for several generations to come. They could stand for 60/70 years before anyone replaces them or changes their mind."

– Naomi Threlfall, Campaigner from Grizebeck
The campaigners hope their peaceful protest will stop pylons being erected Credit: ITV News Border

The National Grid is considering placing sections underground but hasn’t made a final decision.

"We have not yet made a final decision on how and where the new connection will be built within the Lake District National Park.

However, we are continuing our discussions with key bodies about minimising the impact of our proposals and this will include considering placing sections of the connection underground over and above the 2km currently being speculated about in a number of national newspaper articles.

We will share our detailed proposals for the connection as part of a formal public consultation that will take place later this year when we’ll be asking people for their views on the exact path the new connection will take, the equipment used to build it and the methods which can be used to reduce its impact.

All feedback received during this consultation will help shape our thinking as we develop our final plans to submit to the Planning Inspectorate in 2017.

When building connections for generators, we strive to avoid designated landscapes. Where this is not possible, we work closely with stakeholders and communities and carry out consultations to develop a proposal which achieves the best possible balance between protecting the environment and ensuring everyone has an affordable electricity supply.

We fully recognise the importance of the National Park and for more than five years have been working together with local authorities from across Cumbria and Lancashire, including the Lake District National Park Authority, as well as environmental, business and community organisations to develop our proposals."

– Spokesperson for the National Grid
The campaigners took to the hills to walk in protest to the plans Credit: ITV News Border