North East MSP Mike Rumbles has successfully gathered cross party support for a parliamentary debate on the proposed national grid transmission line from Blackhillock to Kintore.
The motion, lodged by the North East MSP for Members Business on Tuesday 7th February, will see the parliament assess the impact of the scheme on the iconic Bennachie landscape, in Aberdeenshire, and nearby communities.
The motion also notes calls on Southern Electricity Network’s, who are responsible for the planning and development of the project, to change their existing plans to mitigate the damage and protect the natural environment in the area.
Mr Rumbles said: “I have told SSEN from the beginning that their plans to tear through unspoilt parts of Aberdeenshire would not wash. They have chosen this route because it is the cheapest option available to them.
“I was at a public meeting only this week at which hundreds of local residents showed up to protest against the plans to take the transmission line around Bennachie. Quite rightly, many of them felt that the developers had ignored their views and where planning to plough on with the project regardless. That is not good enough.
“I’d like to thank my colleagues from the North East and in Parliament who have given their support for my motion. Now I want to see the Scottish Government force a serious rethink about how this scheme will be delivered and most importantly of our open countryside in West Aberdeenshire protected.”
Notes for editors:
Motion Number: S5M-03637
Lodged By: Mike Rumbles
Date Lodged: 25/01/2017
Title: ♦ Blackhillock to Kintore Transmission Line
Motion Text: That the Parliament notes the concern that has been expressed by communities in proximity to Scottish and Southern Electricity Network’s proposed Blackhillock to Kintore transmission reinforcement regarding the development’s potential visual impact; understands that the National Assembly for Wales unanimously passed a motion on 18 January 2017 endorsing the use of underground cables and alternatives to pylons where feasible, with a view to minimising the visual impact of such infrastructure; reiterates what it sees as the need for effective community consultation and the importance of incorporating feedback as a means for addressing such concerns; believes that the outstanding natural beauty of this countryside, for example the area around Bennachie, must be protected, and notes the communities’ urgent calls for the existing plans to be the subject of substantial change and mitigation action in order for this to be achieved.