Controversial pylon plans shelved

Opponents of the pylon development are concerned about the impact on the countryside
Opponents of the pylon development are concerned about the impact on the countryside

Controversial plans for a line of pylons across Aberdeenshire have been shelved.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSE) had proposed major upgrades between Beauly, Blackhillock, near Keith, and Kintore.

But the company has been told by the National Grid not to proceed with the project.

The move came as MSPs were about to debate a motion criticising the proposals tabled by North East Liberal Democrat Mike Rumbles.

Mr Rumbles said: “SSE have said that it is important to note that this does not necessarily signal the end of the need for the transmission line at some point in the future, as they do look at this on annual basis.

“However, I am delighted that the campaign has been successful in highlighting the environmental damage this could do to our area of Aberdeenshire. This could not be better news.”

Communities across Aberdeenshire joined forces against the development with the aim of influencing SSE to look at alternative options for the proposed development.

SSE had been consulting with landowners, residents and other groups regarding potential route corridors for the new overhead lines.

The company confirmed that the National Grid’s Networks Options Assessment (NOA) for this year recommended that the pylon project should not proceed.

It said: “We note the publication of the NOA report and will now begin discussions with affected parties, including generation developers and local communities, about how to take forward the recommendations.

“As the NOA is an annual process, a recommendation to stop or delay in one year might become a recommendation to proceed in later years.”