Highlands & Islands

SSE shelves Beauly-Kintore powerline upgrade

Memorial at Culloden Battlefield Image copyright Dr Julian Paren/Geograph
Image caption National Trust for Scotland had concerns the upgraded line would affect historic sites

SSE has shelved plans to upgrade the powerline between Beauly in the Highlands and Kintore in Aberdeenshire.

The energy firm had proposed reinforcing the existing line so it can carry more electricity.

Following an annual review of infrastructure project, the National Grid said the upgrade was not needed as this time.

SSE said the scheme, which was opposed by the National Trust for Scotland, could be proposed again in the future.

Last year, SSE selected its preferred "corridor" for the project.

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 had 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.

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

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

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) had 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.

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