Plans to build a series of giant pylons to the edge of Snowdonia National Park have been criticised by the National Trust as threatening some of Britain’s most “iconic landscape”.
The National Grid need to connect wind turbines in the Irish Sea and a new nuclear power station on the tip of Anglesey to the mainland.
Despite months of campaigning by local people to have cables buried under the sea, the “preferred option” is to build giant pylons overground across the famous landscape of the Isle of Anglesey to the edge of Snowdonia National Park.
The new pylons are likely to be be 160ft, as high as a 15 storey tower block.
The National Trust fear the pylons will not only threaten “iconic landscape” but wildlife and the area’s cultural heritage.
The charity believe that the pylons should be put under the sea to Deeside, bypassing the national park and transporting electricty much closer to populated areas.
They point out that the “preferred option” means that over the next decade, the pylons could continue across the park in order to get closer to cities.
“We believe that pylons would have an unacceptable visual, landscape and heritage impact,” said a spokesman.
Sir Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust, suggested that if the Government can afford billions of pounds in subsidies for wind farms, it can subsidise the cost of burying the cables underground or under the sea.
“We are concerned that fine landscape, whether inside or outside national parks should not be ruined by pylons, particularly when the cost of putting them underground is coming down.
“If we can subsidise wind turbines, then we can subsidise putting them underground.”
Anglesey councillors and countryside campaigners point out that the park already has more pylons than most of the other national parks in England and Wales.
They want National Grid to bury existing pylons in the national park whilst upgrading the new network.
They point out that burying the cables will add less than £1 to consumer bills but save a multi-billion pound tourist industry.
“Not only should new pylons not be erected at nationally important sites, but existing pylons should be removed,” said a NT spokesman.
“This project should be seen as the opportunity to make good the mistakes of the past and remove pylons from where they should never have been built.”
National Grid insisted that measures will be taken to minimise the impact of the pylons on Anglesey.
“If the preferred option for the connection is taken forward, careful consideration would be given to reducing any effects from the proposed works, with options including careful routeing and siting of equipment, planting and screening measures to reduce visual impact, creating habitats for wildlife, measures to reduce noise and traffic, and consideration of undergrounding in particularly sensitive areas.”
A spokesman for National Grid insisted there are no plans to build pylons across the national park in the short term.
However it could be considered in the future under long term plans for electricity connection.
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