THE future of plans for giant pylons near the Lancashire countryside and coast has taken a fresh twist.
Countryside campaigners have voiced their fears about the rural area between Heysham and Bowland, and parts of the Wyre estuary, being damaged by giant pylons as part of moves to boost the electricity supply in the North West.
But while changes near Quernmore and Heysham remain, the cancellation of two important links have thrown the plans back in the melting pot.
National Grid, who sparked outrage from countryside lobbyists with its earlier plans, now say it is looking afresh at the ideas.
Two companies, EDF and Wyre Power, have decided against progressing their plans to link into the grid transmission system in Lancashire. EDF is the developer of the proposed new nuclear site at Heysham, while Wyre Power is the company behind plans for a gas fired power plant at Thornton, near Fleetwood.
Both firms have recently cancelled the connection agreements they had with National Grid.
A National Grid spokesman said the utility was hoping to complete its review of the route options in the next few weeks and to start consultations with key organisations and local communities in spring or summer this year.
The spokesman added: “National Grid still needs to provide a connection for Moorside Power Station, near Sellafield in West Cumbria, and for a number of offshore windfarms.
“Now, the six options to make these connections, which were identified during two years of work on the project, are being reassessed and it is likely that the need for new infrastructure in Lancashire will be significantly scaled back.”
Peter Fendley, senior project manager, said: “The cancellation of the two agreements in Lancashire means from that we now have fewer generators to connect and a reduced amount power to export from the North West.
“Our initial reassessment indicates that any new connection coming south from Moorside could link into the existing grid system in either the Heysham or Quernmore area of Lancashire, but more work is required to identify a specific location.”
The initial scheme would have seen big new pylons and power lines affecting parts of the Forest of Bowland.
l For more details about the project visit www.nationalgrid.com/NorthWestCoastConnections