Support for Friends of the Lake District's pylons concerns over pylon plans in the west of the National Park

The Campaign for National Parks is one of a number of organisation that are supporting the Friends of the Lake District’s campaign against National Grid’s proposals for a 24km long powerline in the west of the National Park.
In a statement supporting the Friends of the Lake District, we have said: “Our National Parks are national treasures that are loved but also need to be defended. We know that they play a vital role in protecting our valuable landscapes, wildlife and key environmental resources. But we also know they contribute significantly to people’s wellbeing and are attractive for recreation.
“While we acknowledge they are living and working landscapes, development within these areas must be appropriate. Development on the scale of the proposed North West Coast Connections  route will have significant impacts on the west of the Lake District. It is essential that National Grid works with organisations like Friends of the Lake District to development proposals that will minimise the visual impacts of, and therefore the damage caused by, the overhead lines and pylons on this stunning landscape.”
Last November, we responded to National Grid’s North West Coast connections consultation, saying that we believed that the “offshore south” route should be chosen because:
• It removes the need to take pylons and overhead lines through or near to the Lake District National Park and minimises damage to protected landscapes. This is the only route option which ensures that the National Park is protected from major infrastructure development.
• It does not undermine the statutory purposes of the National Park. Choosing this option would demonstrate that National Grid has taken account of its duty to have regard to National Park purposes as set out in S62 of the Environment Act.
• It will secure the future electricity supply without significant damage to the environment of Cumbria and Lancashire.
We said in our response that we believed the “onshore south with tunnel” and “onshore south” route via Kendal were both unacceptable because:
• Both routes would require new pylons and overhead lines in and close to the Lake District National Park. This is particularly inappropriate at a time when significant investment is going in to reducing the impact of existing lines and pylons on protected landscapes through the Visual Impact Provision
• The protected landscape of the National Park would be significantly damaged by larger pylons and associated infrastructure.
• There is an alternative route that can avoid damage to the National Park

Notes to Editors
Further information about the Friends of the Lake District campaign and the opportunity to write to National Grid, your local MP and Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss can be found at www.saynotopylonsinthelakedistrict.org.uk
Further information on this issue can be found at https://www.friendsofthelakesdistrict.org.uk/campaign-information
Other organisations supporting Friends of the Lakes on this issue include the BMC, Campaign to Protect Rural England, John Muir Trust, Open Spaces Society and Power Without Pylons.