Ballater community invited to nominate power lines for undergrounding
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is inviting residents, business owners and visitors in Ballater to come along to an information event to find out more about undergrounding power lines in the Cairngorms National Park.
SSEN’s teams will be at Victoria and Albert Halls, Ballater on Saturday 16 November from 10.30am to 2.30pm to provide details of SSEN’s undergrounding project, encouraging members of the local community to nominate overhead wooden pole electricity lines running across officially designated beauty spots they’d like to see moved underground.
SSEN is investing over £15 million in a project to underground 90km of overhead distribution lines in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks and National Scenic Areas in the north of Scotland and central southern England.
The electricity network operator is looking to work with local communities to target the sections of its network which will provide the greatest visual improvement to the natural landscapes the country has to offer.
Michael Hilferty, Head of North Caledonia Region at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, said:
“Overhead power lines on our network provide a secure and cost-effective way of safely distributing electricity to our customers. We understand that in some officially designated beauty spots, some people may feel the lines have a detrimental impact on the natural environment.
“Ballater is the eastern gateway to the Cairngorms National Park and it’s vital our local communities play an important role in this decision-making process. I’d encourage anyone interested in hearing more about our undergrounding project to come along, meet our teams and nominate sections of overhead lines they’d like to see moved underground.
“By understanding what matters to those living in and visiting the area, we can ensure we’re investing in the right places where we know it will make a real difference.”
Members of the public can nominate areas for undergrounding to be assessed by SSEN and local authority planners by visiting ssen.co.uk/undergrounding where they will be asked to provide details of the location including a photograph, a reason why they think the line should be moved underground and indicate who else in their local community supports the proposal.
SSEN will work with a variety of planning offices to compare and prioritise nominated sections. The cost to underground the overhead sections can vary due to the voltage, length of circuit and geography, and these will be considered when selecting the final areas.