October 4, 2006

Meeting on major power line plan

One of four meetings to be held ahead of a public inquiry into controversial plans for a line of huge electricity pylons is taking place in Aviemore.

The line from the Highlands to Central Scotland, proposed by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), would see 600 pylons built on a 137-mile route.

Meetings in Aviemore, Inverness, Perth and Stirling will set out how the inquiry proper will progress.

The inquiry, called by the Scottish Executive, will be held early 2007.

The pre-inquiry meetings also offer an opportunity for the developer, councils and pressure groups to outline their cases for or against the proposal.

The line would run from Beauly near Inverness to Denny near Falkirk, passing through the Cairngorm National Park and close to the Wallace monument in Stirling.

‘Magnificent scenery’

The inquiry was announced after a large number of objections to the plans.

SSE said the development was needed in order to transfer green energy from proposed projects in the north of Scotland.

The Ramblers’ Association Scotland, John Muir Trust, National Trust for Scotland and Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland are combining resources to object to this proposal.

Davie Black, wild land campaigner for the Ramblers’ Association, said: “We are concerned about the effect this power line will have on the magnificent scenery of the Scottish Highlands.”

John Muir Trust policy officer Helen McDade added: “This inquiry needs to look at the big picture, the context within which this proposal lies.”

Meanwhile, Stirling Council has agreed to joint legal representation with Highland Council, Perth and Kinross Council and the Cairngorm National Park at the pre-inquiry stage.

Other meetings will take place on 25, 27 and 31 October in Inverness, Perth and Stirling.


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