MPs to debate pylons tomorrow

PUBLISHED: 17:22 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 25 May 2010

A DISCUSSION over National Grid's plans to install huge pylons across North Somerset will take place between MPs tomorrow (Tues).

A DISCUSSION over National Grid's plans to install huge pylons across North Somerset will take place between MPs tomorrow (Tues).

An adjournment debate will be held in the House of Commons at the end of the day following a request from Woodspring MP Dr Liam Fox.

In a letter written to the House of Commons speaker he said: "This is an extremely controversial issue locally and arises from the plans of National Grid to put up a new set of pylons to take power from the new Hinkley C power station to Avonmouth.

"This will result in electricity pylons of approximately 150 feet being laid from Bridgwater to Avonmouth.

"Leaving aside the merits of the issue itself, there is intense local irritation and frustration at the lack of accountability which exists.

"The independence of the Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC) makes it difficult for elected Members of Parliament to hold anyone to account.

"I would be very grateful, as would my constituents, to have a chance to raise this very serious issue in the Chamber of the House of Commons in an end of day adjournment debate."

Once National Grid has finalised plans for the 400,000 volt power line, it will submit its plans to the IPC rather than the planning authorities along the route, such as North Somerset Council.

This has led to some accusations that the process is not very democratic, resulting in the request for the adjournment debate.

Since National Grid's plans for the power line were first unveiled, huge opposition has been put forward by residents and campaign groups across North Somerset.

Marches and public meetings have been held in the hope of showing National Grid the strength of feeling against the plans.

Efforts have also been made to make sure residents know how to respond to National Grid and tell the company their views on the plans.

This first stage of consultation, which will help the electricity company choose which out of two routes will be used for the line, will end on Friday.

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