Josh, We'll be doing our very best to ensure that it won't. That's why we're consulting extensively across Cumbria and Lancashire on our proposals. We'd welcome feedback on the options we've put on the table. You still have until 28 November to give us your comments on our website www.northwestcoastconnections.com or you can ring us on freephone 0800 876 6990 and we'll post you information. we'd really value your views.
Allan, we can put lines underground and this is something we will be considering at the next stage of the project. At the moment, we're focusing on the route which the new connections could take. Underground cables are expensive to lay and to maintain but are certainly something we'll be actively considering using in the most sensitive locations in Cumbria and Lancashire. Early days in the planning process yet, but pleaseshare your views and be part of it!
Our project can help secure significant long-term investment, including thousands of jobs, in the North West. It is an important part of providing new, low carbon energy sources of energy for use in homes and businesses.
Geoff, consultation is open until 28 November. We've been speaking to FoLD about this project for over five years and have had discussions with the umbrella organisations representing parish councils across Cumbria and Lancashire in addition to some parish councils. We've had some views in but not all at this point and once consultation closes, we'll be very carefuly analysing the feedback we've received to help us home and refine the project.
Geoff, we've already said that our emergeing preference is for an option which features a tunnel below Morecambe Bay to avoid routing overhead lines around the South Lake District - this certainly isn't the cheapest option. Cost has to be a consideration obviously, but our aim is to strike the best possible balance between protecting treasured lansdcapes, helping keep electiricty costs down and making sure everybody has the electricity they need at the flick of a switch.
Christine, what we are saying is our preference at this stage in the project is to looki t building new lines to follow the path of existing lines where possible. We could then look at removing some of the existing lines if this is the option we take forward. But we're still consulting and have made no hard and fast decisions yet.
Tony, we are under scrutiny from the public, politicans, local government, government departments and a whole host of special interest groups on this project. We have to be open and honest about our proposals. If government do not believe that we've shared information or consulted properly, they could refuse to consider our eventual application to build new connections.
Allan, we all want energy security. Old power stations are closing down and we need low carbon sources of energy to fill the gap. This is what our project is all about. Finding a way of making these new connections in a cost effective way will help control the costs passed on to consumers.
Colin, you know the saying ' you can't please all of the people, all of the time'? Well this is the position we are in. We will have to work hard to find a solution that suits as many people and organisations as possible, but we'll never make everyone happy.
Christine, it means we have a number of options on the table but the one we think will work best and strike the right balance in terms of cost v landscape is the one we've identified as our 'emerging preference'. We've made no firm decision if this will be taken forward - that's why we're out to consultation to see if people think our preference is the right one for them too.
Jenni, I appreciate your point and am sure thousands of other people do too. We've got the tricky job of trying to find the right solution here. People want beautiful views wherever they go in Cumbria but don't want to see their electricity bills increase astronomically. We're working to find a solution which strikes the balance but ultimately, the Government will decide if the proposal we develop to achieve this balance is the right one.
Sceptical, we're a long way off the construction stage of this project but we are committed to ensuring that Cumbria businesses help us build the connections when we get to that point. Our best estimate is that construction will take place between 2018 and 2026.
Grant, we've been asked by NuGen to provide a connection into the National Grid and we are working with them on this. This project could have major benefits for the people of Cumbria and Lancashire and we hope it goes ahead.
Harold, the proposed new nuclear plant will generate far more electricity than the old Calder Hall plant and the existing network can't cope with the volume of electricity it would be expected to export, hence the need for new connections.
Josh, by making it easier for new businesses to get the electricity supplies they need to establish and expand in Cumbria. By creating what we call a 'pwer ring' around the coast of Cumbria, it allows new power generators to set up. This ties in with Cumbria's ambition to become 'Britain's Energy Coast'.
Christine, we hope to replace as many existing lines as possible if we go down the route of building new lines to follow the path of existing ones.
Josh, we could put all lines underground but it would have a massive impact on consumer's bills,. Also laying underground cables can have a significant impact on the environment - causing far more disruption to landscapes than the placing of pylons. On other major National Grid projects, we have committed to put lines underground in sensitive locations and this is most certainly something we would consider in the Lake District.
Patrick, we've got more consultation work to do on this project to make sure we work with local communities to take the best possible project to the Goverment for approval. If granted, construction could start as early as 2018.
Christine, the money is available to take existing lines down in AONBs and National Parks. Some of these are very unsightly and were built back in the days when planning controls were very different. This is why we're committed to undertaking extensive consultation about our proposals for Cumbria and Lancashire. We need to demonstrate in this day and age that we have listened to what people have had to say and shaped our proposals to reflect their concerns about valued landscapes.
The government will look very closely at the work we've done to develop a proposal for new connections. Local authorities across the two counties will be asked for their opinion on the quality of our consultation and the outputs from it. They have already been to many of our consultation events and are the government's eyes and ears on the ground. The government has targets to achieve for low carbon generation and this project has a vital role to play in helping hit these targets.