The National Trust for Scotland has attacked the proposed £230million Beauly to Denny power line, saying it would “seriously damage” some of the most scenic landscapes in Perthshire.
Under the Scottish and Southern Energy plan, 600 electricity pylons, each around 200ft, would be erected along the spine of the country.
The power cable would bisect large tracts of Perth and Kinross and the local council is among four authorities objecting to the proposal.
The NTS is the latest organisation to give evidence to a public inquiry.
John Mayhew, the trust’s head of policy and planning, said the power line would be “intrusive and damaging”.
A statement provided to the inquiry by him outlined the “massive” value attached to Scotland’s landscape and the “visual intrusion” of the pylons.
He said: “Our landscapes contain the record of the achievements of those people who went before us and form a key part of our national, regional and local identity.
“They provide the settings which are critical to people’s decisions to stay in, or relocate to, Scotland and can encourage inward investment.
“They are therefore of fundamental importance to Scotland’s environment, society and economy.”
Mr Mayhew also said the power line would have a “significantly adverse” effect on Highland Perthshire, spoiling some of the routes taken by tourists.
The National Trust for Scotland has joined forces with the Beauly-Denny landscape group to address the inquiry, which has been hearing evidence for two months.
Mr Mayhew said: “The Beauly-Denny landscape group is strongly opposed to the proposed development, believing it to be wrong in principle and seriously damaging to nationally significant landscapes.
“The central issue is therefore whether this undoubted damage to the landscape can be justified by any overwhelming arguments in favour of the development. I do not believe it can.”
The Scottish Executive has received an unprecedented 17,295 objections to the pylons plan and some experts believe the public inquiry could take up to a year.
27 April 2007
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