As part of a £500m national project, ugly pylons on moorland at the edge of the Peak District National Park are expected to be pulled down and the power cables they carry buried instead.
It involves tall pylons on the landscape between Penistone and the village of Dunford Bridge, leaving views of the area’s spectacular moorland uninterrupted. Under proposals now put to the council, they would be buried alongside the Trans Pennine Trail footpath for a distance of 1.8km from Dunford Bridge, heading towards Penistone on the trail.
However, it needs planning permission before work can go ahead and Barnsley Council is now being asked to give that approval – with wildlife experts objecting over the potential impact on birds.
Electricity cables spanning the Pennines run through the old Woodhead railway tunnel, emerge on to large steel pylons which dominate the landscape.
The scheme has been proposed by the National Grid and would need temporary works to allow engineers to undertake the project.
The long-term aim is to improve the environment in areas of outstanding natural beauty. A report submitted to Barnsley Council says: “This particular proposal aims to reduce the visual impact of National Grid’s overhead line in and around the village of Dunford Bridge.”
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England “strongly supports” the proposals, but the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has reservations, warning the work could lead to the “potential extinction of local populations of willow tit Poecile montanus”.
They say, that is: “Our most threatened resident bird, is still of great concern to the Trust
They want no permanent loss of biodiversity as a result of the proposals.”
A decision on whether to allow the work will be made later.