Joan McAlpine MSP has welcomed the news that the controversial pylon proposal across Dumfries and Galloway has been judged uneconomic by National Grid.
The announcement yesterday was made just two weeks after the UK Energy regulator Ofgem met Ms McAlpine and local campaigners and explained that they had asked National Grid to evaluate the proposal.
National Grid yesterday concluded: “The Dumfries and Galloway reinforcement option (Auchencrosh to Harker) was not taken to the next stage of evaluation as other reinforcement options were found to be more economic in reducing constraints …”.
Ms McAlpine, who made a detailed response to the consultation on behalf of constituents and had the consultation window extended to allow more people to contribute, said:
“This decision will be welcomed by my constituents whose well-being and quality of life was threatened by the proposal to put pylons through areas which previously had been untouched.
“It could have scarred several important heritage sites such as Ellisland Farm and Thomas Carlyle’s birthplace as well as areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the Glencairn Valley.
“I am absolutely delighted for the communities affected and would pay particular tribute to Dumgal against Pylons, Kirkmahoe Against Pylons and the people of Racks, Kirkmahoe and Dunscore in particular who have fought a great campaign.”
“I am not against up-grading the ageing transmission system – we need to do that in order to ensure that the region has the infrastructure it needs to develop economically and also to transport clean energy.
“But as I said in my consultation response there were doubts that this size of project was necessary. Its proposed route went through virgin countryside and it failed to look at other options such as sub-sea cables or under-grounding. This decision means that future grid reinforcement will likely be very different and on a smaller scale.”