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Beauly - Denny 400kV Transmission Line

Issued: 14 Jun 2007

Highland Councillors have unanimously rejected a mitigation offer made by Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd (SHETL) linked to the proposal to construct the 400kV overhead power line from Beauly to Denny.

Speaking at a today's meeting of the Full Council, the Director of Planning and Development John Rennilson explained that last Friday the Council, along with representatives from Perth and Kinross Council and Stirling Council met with SHETL representatives who have expressed serious reservations as to the environmental justification and economic implications of the under grounding proposals put forward by the Councils and other parties.

He told members that during the meeting SHETL had put forward three specific proposals concerning lines within the Highland Council area as an alternative to under grounding the proposed 400kV transmission line and in his report he recommended rejection of this mitigation offer.

He said: "This has come very late in the day as we are already four months into the public inquiry. As a Council we have a clear position in that we are in support of a trunk link but on the understanding that selected areas of the line are placed underground. We stand by our decision and along with the Cairngorm National Park Authority, this is the message we have taken to the public inquiry."

Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor Drew Hendry supported the Directors recommendation. He said: ~This proposal does nothing to reduce the impact of the very large Beault to Denny lines and I urge the Council to give a unanimous message to SHETL and the Scottish Executive that we reject this offer and stand by our original position.~

The Council also reiterated its opposition to the extension of the Balblair Sub Station. However, the Reporters would be advised that if the appeal were to be allowed then the Council wished to see the undergrounding of the existing 132 kV lines leading into the Sub Station.

The inquiry is expected to draw to a close at the end of December and a decision is expected in Autumn 2008.

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