Call on the Scottish Government and Scottish Power Energy Networks to underground the proposed reinforced power line through the heart of Galloway. 

Scottish Power Energy Network, who are owned by Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, plan to  replace 47.8km of overhead transmission line with taller pylons across the heart of Galloway.  

The Kendoon to Tongland 132kV Reinforcement Project (KTR) will have significant adverse  effects on this precious landscape; affecting users of recreational paths, roads and  viewpoints and see the felling of nearly 350 hectares of trees, including 45 hectares of  designated Native or Ancient Semi Natural Woodland; a major and significant impact. The  project will also require seven new quarries to be mined. 

Despite this, the company’s report on the project claims there will be no significant effects  on: 

  • Watercourses - there are over 220 watercourse crossings in the project, several of  them major rivers, and all draining into the Loch Ken / River Dee catchment area. 
  • Peat – although the presence of peat is noted for several of the sections little on-site  investigation has been carried out. 
  • Ecology - loss of habitat, especially broadleaved woodland, dismissed in the report  as not significant. 
  • Ornithology - despite an 80m wide swathe being cut through countryside where a  whole host of rare species have been recorded as occupying and breeding  
  • Cultural Heritage; 72 cultural heritage assets are directly affected by the project.  
  • Traffic and transport - despite an estimated 252,514 extra HGV, LGV and car/van  movements resulting from the proposals, using many single-track roads. 
Photo: Phil McMenemy

The project will also have significant and adverse long-term impacts on tourism and  recreation – a key rural industry - especially for users of the Core Path network, outdoor  tourist destinations, visitor accommodation and recreational activities in the countryside. 

Most worrying of all, the impact on climate change has not been specifically assessed in any  detail. 

Scottish Greens are calling on the Scottish Government and SPEN to underground the  entire route. This is more expensive but it is exactly the kind of long-term infrastructure  project that is worthy of investment through the Green New Deal. 17% of the national grid in  England and Wales is undergrounded and, with increasing extreme weather events caused  by climate change, having the power cables underground is not only less impactful on the  environment it is also more secure and stable.

We need to make it clear to ministers that we want to see rural infrastructure investment that  benefits the environment, not harms it.

Please take action now by submitting an objection to this as soon as possible and before Thursday 13th November.

Photo: Phil McMenemy

All photos with kind permission of Phil McMenemy:

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