Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Saturday, 23 January 2010

MP Liam Fox MP likes Somerset pylon plan to 'beheading'

Hinkley Point power station
The cable route would carry electricity from Hinkley Point's new reactor

A North Somerset MP has compared the consultation over the proposed new pylon route from Hinkley Point to being asked how one wants to executed.

Dr Liam Fox told Parliament: "We have been offered the choice between two different land corridors with overhead cables.

"It is not much of a consultation - the choice between being hanged and being beheaded," the Woodspring MP added.

National Grid wants to run 400,000 volt power lines to Avonmouth.

The company's formal consultation period, which included public meetings and exhibitions in villages along both of the two proposed route, ended at midnight on Friday.

'Inadequate' consultation

Dr Fox, who was grilling energy minister David Kidney about the plan, was supported in his concerns by three other Somerset MPs.

Wells MP David Heathcoat-Amory, Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose and Bridgwater's Ian Liddell-Grainger also pressed the minister over the plans.

Mr Kidney conceded the consultation, which included the Christmas period and time affected by bad weather, could be seen as "inadequate".

But he added: "My understanding, however, is that there must be a second-stage consultation, which will run from February 2010 to March 2011, for which National Grid will be seeking views on its preferred route corridor.

"National Grid is therefore at the very beginning of the process for the proposal."

Campaigners want the power company to consider an underground route for the power lines.

The firm wants to have the 37-mile route in operation by 2016.

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