Somerset campaigners welcome cable consultation

Hinkley Point nuclear power station National Grid wants to install pylons to link a new power station at Hinkley Point with Avonmouth

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Campaigners in Somerset have welcomed a public consultation on the installation of underground electricity cables.

National Grid wants to build overhead pylons to link a proposed new power station at Hinkley Point in west Somerset with Avonmouth.

But opponents to the plans want the 400,000 power lines to be buried beneath the ground or laid under the sea.

The company says it is now revising its approach to undergrounding nationwide.

The consultation will run until 16 March 2011.

A National Grid spokeswoman said the revised approach to undergrounding would be published in April.

She said the outcome of the review would be "borne in mind" regarding the Somerset pylon plans.

'Brilliant Christmas present'

Paul Hipwell, chairman of No Moor Pylons, said it was "a brilliant Christmas present for the people of Somerset".

He added: "We have been campaigning for over a year to get National Grid to seriously consider the alternatives to pylons.

"Thanks to all the support of the people in our region National Grid are starting to hear what we have been saying."

Hector Pearson from National Grid, said: "When planning to connect a new generator to its network, National Grid looks at different methods, including overhead lines, underground cables and subsea cables.

"We need to manage the costs of these projects responsibly as these costs will ultimately be paid for by electricity consumers.

"However, we also need to consider the impact on the local landscape and communities of what we build."

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