Highlands & Islands

SSE reveals preferred 'corridor' for Beauly-Kintore line

Map showing preferred corridor of upgraded powerline Image copyright SSE
Image caption A map showing SSE's preferred corridor for the upgraded powerline

Energy firm SSE has selected its preferred "corridor" for an upgraded powerline between Beauly in the Highlands and Kintore in Aberdeenshire.

The existing line is to be reinforced so it can carry more electricity.

The corridor is the area of land in which the route of the upgraded line would be built. SSE made its selection from three possible corridors.

The company said it has sought to avoid historic sites and landscapes, such as Culloden Battlefield and Bennachie.

The battlefield is near Inverness, while Bennachie is a hill with a number of distinctive rocky tops in Aberdeenshire.

Detailed plans are now to be made of the preferred corridor with further public consultation to be carried out next year.

SSE said consent for the upgraded line could be sought from the Scottish government in 2019.

Image copyright Dr Julian Paren/Geograph
Image caption SSE says it has sought to protect historic sites such as Culloden Battlefield

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has previously raised concerns about the line being routed close to historic sites, such as Culloden Battlefield and the nearby Clava Cairns.

A Jacobite force led by Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated at Culloden by a government army in April 1746.

The fighting took place over a wider area than the parts in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

Clava Cairns are prehistoric burial cairns built about 4,000 years ago.

The Bronze Age cemetery complex includes passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairn and standing stones. The site also has the remains of a chapel of unknown date.

NTS said it was awaiting more details from SSE on the preferred corridor.

A spokesman for the trust said: "Pending next year's formal consultation process, we will be conducting our own independent site surveys to help us assess the visual intrusion of the alternative pylon routes."

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