Pylon-free landscapes on the horizon thanks to £500m fund to bury electricity lines

A £500m funding drive to bury electricity lines has been hailed as a "major step towards pylon-free landscapes".

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) welcomed the announcement by energy regulator Ofgem to free up £500m over the next eight years to fund burying existing National Grid transmission lines.

The lines raking across National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will go underground, while the National Grid has also undertaken to avoid running new 50m-high pylons through our finest landscapes where possible.

"Despite this welcome progress National Grid pylons march across these landscapes in a number of locations, including Longdendale in the Peak District and the New Forest National Park west of Southampton," said CPRE.

Other landscapes marred by pylons are the South Downs National Park around Petersfield and areas of outstanding natural beauty in Gloucestershire Cotswolds and the North Wessex Downs in Oxfordshire.

Senior planning campaigner Paul Miner said: "This is a significant step towards ridding our most precious landscapes of the blight of 50m-high pylons. But these improvements will take time: the National Grid also needs to change.

"We will be looking for it to make a bigger impact, which means moving away from a business model based on new overhead connections and towards running any necessary new lines underground as a matter of course."


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