Page last updated at 21:44 GMT, Tuesday, 5 July 2011 22:44 UK

MP calls for abandonment of Somerset pylon plan

Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt has launched a bid to prevent the National Grid from constructing a chain of 150ft pylons across Somerset.

On 5 July 2011, Mrs Munt, the MP for Wells, called on the government to ensure that high voltage electricity was transmitted through "visually unobtrusive" means in areas of natural beauty.

She said concerns over pylons had been raised by thousands of countryside-dwellers.

Her Electricity Transmission (Protection of Landscape) Bill would "require factors other than cost to be considered for schemes for the transmission of high voltage electricity where infrastructure would impact on the visual and other amenity of a landscape".

Under National Grid proposals, overhead power cables will carry electricity between the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station and Avonmouth.

But Mrs Munt claimed that the costs of putting cables underground would add just 1% to electricity bills.

"I think it's time that we consider the impact of what we're doing to our countryside, to our tourism, to our health and our environment," she told MPs.

"We should all remember we know the cost of everything but this actually indicates that we might not spot the value of what it is that we have."

Her bill, which had cross-party support, received an unopposed first reading but is unlikely to become law without government support.


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