Mike Rumbles MSP has called on the Minister in charge of planning to use regulations to limit the use of overhead pylons in areas on natural beauty, such as Aberdeenshire’s iconic Bennachie.
Mr Rumbles will quiz the Minister on the issue during a session of Portfolio Questions, in the Chamber tomorrow. The North East MSP has also successfully gathered cross party support for a Members Business Debate on the proposed national grid transmission line from Blackhillock to Kintore, to take place in Parliament on Tuesday 7th February.
The motion will see the Parliament assess the impact of the scheme on the natural environment and nearby communities, and notes calls for Scottish & Southern Electricity Network’s to change their existing plans to mitigate the potential damage of this project.
Mr Rumbles said: “Hundreds of local residents have joined the campaign to protest SSEN’s plans to take the transmission line around Bennachie, and many Members of the Parliament are now adding their support as well.
“I have told SSEN from the beginning that their plans to tear through unspoilt parts of Aberdeenshire is nothing less than environmental vandalism and that I will fight them tooth and nail on this issue.
“They have chosen this route because it is the cheapest option available to them and in the process have ignored the views of dozens of communities along the route.
“I’d like to thank my Parliamentary colleagues from the North East 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 how to protect our open countryside in Aberdeenshire.”
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.