ScottishPower has today (Wednesday 29th September 2010) published ‘The Stirling Visual Impact Mitigation Scheme Consultation Report’, outlining its visual and landscape mitigation proposals for a 14km section of the consented Beauly to Denny overhead transmission line.
In total, ScottishPower is constructing 20km of the 220km Beauly to Denny power line. In January 2010, following Scotland’s longest public inquiry, Scottish Ministers granted consent for the proposed overhead transmission line. A condition was attached to the consent whereby ScottishPower was asked to submit a visual and landscape scheme for two sections of the consented line.
The publication of the report also signals the start of a voluntary community consultation period which will run for 30 working days. This is in addition to both the formal consultation required by the condition placed on the overhead line consent and the engagement which has already taken place through the Stirling Council Beauly to Denny Steering Group.
The Report concludes that further visual mitigation of the overhead transmission line by ScottishPower could be achieved through, Screen Planting, Landscaping, Tower Painting and Undergrounding of Lower Voltage Lines.
While ScottishPower considered a number of other visual and landscape mitigation options it concluded that these were not appropriate. Either they did not improve the visual amenity, benefit the landscape or the cost could not be justified against ScottishPower’s statutory and licence duties - given the decision of the Scottish Minister or the sometimes limited visual and landscape benefit.
Frank Mitchell, ScottishPower Energy Networks Director, said:
“In approving the upgraded power line in January, Scottish Ministers accepted that the proposed route was both logical and justified. This approved route was established through extensive planning and in-depth studies in order to find the most suitable location for the transmission line from a technical and environmental perspective.
“The further studies undertaken as part of the Report consider the terms of the Condition attached to the consent for the transmission line, the Scottish Ministers subsequent briefing note as well as a number of other measures suitable to contribute to a visual mitigation scheme.
“The measures in the Report have been identified following a balancing of environmental, technical and cost considerations.
“The publication of the Report provides an opportunity for ScottishPower to share its proposals for the visual and landscape mitigation as well as listen to the local communities and stakeholders.”
Copies of the Stirling Visual Impact Mitigation Scheme Consultation Report will be made available in a variety of different formats and locations including on ScottishPower’s website, by contacting the Beauly Denny Project Manager and through public viewing at Libraries in Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Stirling, Fallin, Bannockburn, Cowie and Plean as well as Stirling Council’s Viewforth Office.
ScottishPower are also holding a open drop in session for the public at the following times and locations to answer the individual local communities and stakeholders questions;
Wednesday 6th October 2010 from 11am to 6.30pm in the Allanwater Room of the Stirling Management Centre within the University of Stirling
Thursday 7th October 2010 from 11am to 6.30pm in the Wallace Suite of the Forthbank Performance Sport Centre
Tuesday 26th October 2010 from 11am until 5pm in the Fallin Parish Church Hall
Wednesday 27th October 2010 from 5pm until 9pm in the Balfour Centre
Thursday 28th October 2010 from 5pm until 9pm in the Cowie Community Centre
ScottishPower will use the comments which are received on the Stirling Visual Impact Mitigation Scheme Consultation Report to assess their proposals, prior to their formal submission of the Stirling Visual Impact Mitigation Scheme to the Scottish Government. The formal submission will be subject to a further consultation of 30 days between the Scottish Government and Stirling Council, prior to a decision being made by the Scottish Minister.
Media information: Simon McMillan: 0141 566 4875 / 07753 622 257
Notes to editors:
The report will be published online at: http://www.spenergynetworks.com/PublicInformation/denny.asp
1. ScottishPower has been granted planning permission to upgrade the 20km section of the 220km line that lies within the company’s network area
2. The 20km section extends from the north of Stirlingshire to Denny near Falkirk
3. The mitigation areas detailed in the condition of consent are –
(1) Neither the overhead transmission line or the towers carrying that line shall be installed or constructed in the area of Stirling Council until–
(a) the applicant has submitted to the Scottish Ministers for approval a scheme prepared in accordance with this condition setting out proposals to mitigate the visual impact of the 400kv line in the Stirling area (“the Stirling Visual Impact Mitigation Scheme”); and
(b) the Scottish Ministers have, after consultation with Stirling Council, approved the Stirling Visual Impact Mitigation Scheme.
(2) The Stirling Visual Impact Mitigation Scheme is to include proposals for:
(a) the mitigation of the visual and landscape impact of the line between the top scarp of the Ochil Hills at Cocksburn Wood (TD199) and Airthey Castle (TD203)
(b) the mitigation of visual and landscape impact of the line between Logie (TD203) and Glenside TD244,
(3) The Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved Stirling Visual Impact Mitigation Scheme unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Scottish Ministers.