Local community invited to join study on reducing visual impact of existing power lines in New Forest

Idol of Bratley

Published Monday 23 February 2015

National Grid and New Forest National Park Authority collaborating as part of the Visual Impact Provision project

Public event scheduled for Thursday 5 March in Hale Village Hall, Hatchett Green, Hale

Local residents are being invited to help with a study into reducing the visual impact of pylons in the New Forest National Park.

In November 2014, National Grid identified a section of overhead power line near the village of Hale as having a significant visual impact on the landscape. The company is now working with the New Forest National Park Authority to investigate whether it’s possible to reduce the impact of this power line in the National Park.

As part of this initiative National Grid is inviting local people to share their knowledge of the area and help influence their assessments of the line. A public event is planned for Thursday, 5 March in Hale, which will give local people chance to share their views and local knowledge.

Members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions and provide additional information about the project.

The event will take place from 2pm until 8pm at:

  • Hale Village Hall, Hatchett Green, Hale, Fordingbridge, SP6 2NE

The information gathered will be used by National Grid as it investigates whether the sections of line in the National Park could be part of the final shortlist of projects to benefit from the Visual Impact Provision* project. This is a major initiative to reduce the visual impact of existing energy transmission lines in protected areas of Great Britain; it will make use of a £500 million allowance made available by energy regulator Ofgem until 2021.

Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority said: 'There is no doubt that reducing the impact of the cables and pylons would bring significant benefits to the landscape, and this drop in session is a great chance for local people to find out more about what could be achieved. I would encourage local residents to take this opportunity to contribute to National Grid’s feasibility study with their local knowledge and opinions.'

Hector Pearson, National Grid VIP Project Manager said: 'National Grid’s electricity network is vital to our way of life, but this project provides a real opportunity to help reduce its impact on treasured landscapes like the New Forest National Park.  These events are the first step in gathering essential information to help us to consider how we could potentially reduce the visual impact of these overhead lines and whether we could take this further forward.'

The New Forest National Park is one of eight areas across England and Wales identified which could benefit from the Visual Impact Provision project. A Stakeholder Advisory Group made up of organisations dedicated to protecting precious landscapes across England and Wales will decide which locations from this final shortlist will be taken forward for feasibility work and potential engineering projects.

Residents who are unable to attend the drop-in session can still contribute to the research and register for project updates on the website www.nationalgrid.com/vip.  

Contact for media information only:
Antony Quarrell
National Grid Media Relations
07810 853075

Out of hours 0845 366 6769

www.nationalgridmedia.com   Follow us on Twitter.


For photos relating to this news release please visit the National Grid photo stream
More information about the Visual Impact Provision project can be found at www.nationalgrid.com/vip

Notes to Editors:

About Visual Impact Provision

All electricity transmission owners are funded by a price control mechanism which is agreed with and set by Ofgem, the electricity and gas markets regulator. Ofgem has agreed a set of price controls and incentives for the period from April 2013 to March 2021. The new price controls and incentives include a provision of £500 million to mitigate the visual impact of existing electricity infrastructure in nationally protected landscapes in Great Britain.

For National Grid, which is the electricity transmission owner in England and Wales, this means considering the visual amenity of our existing infrastructure in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world and has been named Responsible Business of the Year 2014 by Business in the Community. We own and manage the grids that connect people to the energy they need, from whatever the source.  In Britain and the north-eastern states of the US we run systems that deliver gas and electricity to millions of people, businesses and communities.

In Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country. In the North Eastern US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles.

National Grid in the UK:

  • We own the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales, operating it across Great Britain
  • We own and operate the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain
  • Our gas distribution business delivers gas to 10.9 million homes and businesses
  • We also own a number of related businesses including LNG importation, land remediation and metering
  • National Grid manages the National Gas Emergency Service free phone line on behalf of the industry - 0800 111 999 (all calls are recorded and may be monitored).
  • Our portfolio of other businesses is mainly concerned with infrastructure provision and related services where we can exploit our core skills and assets to create value. These businesses operate in areas such as Metering, Grain LNG Import, Interconnectors and Property. National Grid Carbon Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Grid. It undertakes Carbon Capture Storage related activities on behalf of National Grid.

Find out more about the energy challenge and how National Grid is helping find solutions to some of the challenges we face at www.nationalgridconnecting.com

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