REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 191

Revolt news 30/06/2005

NOTE: the recently promised issue on new developments in wind power is delayed; meanwhile global warming is receiving almost daily media hype for the G8 meeting and, sadly, even the Royal Society has become politicised and taken the route of demonising dissenters.

1. The Beauly - Denny line application is expected very soon. There will then be just 28 days for people to object. See APPENDIX 1. Guidance is available from

 http://www.cairngormsagainstpylons.org 

The Scottish Mountaineering Club issued a declaration on 23 June objecting to the proposed line (see APPENDIX 2).

2. Meanwhile a proposal is mooted to use wind power in the Hebrides to make hydrogen

  http://tinyurl.com/cns94  and to use it for hydrogen-powered cars, ferries etc  http://tinyurl.com/bd2vj  as reported to Western Isles Council http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/  . While there are many economic problems to be solved, at least that is relatively clean, whereas using wind to make electricity on a significant scale to feed into a national grid requires a large amount of polluting back-up. That does not overcome the problems of wind farms in valued landscapes and biological environments of course.

3. Discussion of the Draper study (news190) continues. My shorter response to BMJ, along with many others, can be seen on line at  http://tinyurl.com/bzzgd

4. Dermot Finnegan, whose home at Sale, has suffered from a pylon on neighbouring land being moved close to his boundary, allegedly bypassing proper procedures, continues to struggle against the might of corporate powers (news177.4, 178.1, 182.7). A valuation of 816,000 has been agreed with the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTE) through their solicitors. Although that is much less than a valuation of a million pounds made last year, Dermot has been unable to sell even at 700,000. He now challenges GMPTE solicitors to sell his property at their valuation, and has offered them increasing sums to do so. His latest offer is 100,000. (APPENDIX 3)

5. National Grid's Annual Report 2005 is published as the AGM approaches (to be held Monday 25 July). The company name is to be changed, from National Grid Transco which was adopted after the merger with the gas grid firm Transco, back to something similar to the old name: National Grid plc. It is good to see the modern governance approach to risk management and in particular reference to electric and magnetic fields in one of the identified risk factors, as something "not currently regarded or proved to have adverse effects but could become so".

6. The Operating Review in National Grid's annual report has a short section on Electric and Magnetic Fields saying, disappointingly, "the balance of scientific evidence is against EMFs resulting in adverse health impacts" - that is only NG's opinion paraded as if it were objective fact. It is all the more confrontational by claiming the evidence is against adverse health effects in general, whereas most evidence has been limited to cancer and the balance is in any case arguable for cancer alone. The report claims credit, rightly, for the initiative in setting up the stakeholder group SAGE through the Department of Health. Another section on Human Rights declares a "commitment to protecting human rights within the sphere of our influence"; some landowners with wayleave grievances and neighbouring home owners may think this a little hypocritical. The whole system of compulsory imposition, without compensation in most cases, is scarcely a commitment to protecting human rights.

7. The treasury document Managing Risks to the Public: Appraisal Guidance was published in June, bringing last year's consultation document (news179.4) into formal guidance status. By and large it represents a continuing improvement in government efforts to cope with uncertain hazards and sets out a sensible framework for a practical approach. There is a blunder (repeated from the consultation document, now in Box 6) in the detail of applying QALYs (Quality Adjusted Life Years) which perhaps points up the folly of trying to be too clever. Ironically there now appear two examples from the NRPB, one (Box 2) that awful holier-than-thou open meeting in Birmingham chaired by Lord Winston at his patronising and partial worst. The other (Box 3) says NRPB "responds publicly to media reports to correct misinformation", without mentioning its hasty and unscientific gaffes creating misinformation. Never mind, NRPB (now HPA-RPD) is improving - I just scored them top of the responses to the Draper study (news190)! And the Treasury document will be valuable to SAGE in its consideration of EMFs. The document and other related material can be seen via

 http://www.hm-treasury.goc.uk/greenbook/

***** *****

APPENDIX 1 Message from Cairngorms Against Pylons

The simplest method [of objecting] is to register on the website with any comments. This will enable us to hold a list of all those supporting. We do not want to send letters to the Scottish Executive until the Planning Application is actually made by Scottish and Southern - at which point we only have 28 days to get the objections in or they are invalid. We need to be ready for this. Hence this exercise is to collect lists of support prior to that date - and be ready - which we expect to be at the end of June or early July - but could be considerably delayed. S & S's strongest card is for endless delay - until the objectors become bored - this we want to avoid at all costs. The website is http://www.cairngormsagainstpylons.org .

Background from a previous message from Cairngorms Against Pylons:

Please help our national campaign to stop massive 67 metre (200 ft) high pylons, each the size of the Statue of Liberty, being built through the newly created Cairngorms National Park.

Our campaign group, Cairngorms Revolt Against Pylons, is calling for the cables to be buried underground to save one of Scotland's truly wild places for generations to come.

If allowed to go ahead the new 67 metre high pylons proposed by Scottish & Southern Energy will dominate the gateways to the park, at Kinlochlaggan, Drumochter and the Corrieyairack Pass.

We think that turning the UK's biggest national park into an industrial development site would be an outrage. It could turn away visitors who come expecting wild open spaces and cause untold economic damage to the already fragile Highland economy.

You can help us force Scottish & Southern Energy to bury the cables underground through the Cairngorms National Park by objecting to the proposals when they are submitted to the Scottish Executive for planning permission this month.

Together we can save the Park from being turned into an industrial 'wirescape' of mega pylons.

***** *****

APPENDIX 2 MCofS AGM Passes Motion to Oppose Pylon Line

Extracts from news release 23 June 2005

At its AGM on June 18th Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) members voted unanimously to support a motion urging the MCofS, its affiliated clubs and individual members to object to the proposed Ullapool to Beauly and Beauly to Denny pylons.

Members also voted in favour of a second motion to express concern that the Government?s proposed new compulsory planning powers might be used to force through building pylons and wind farms in wild mountainous areas.

The MCofS will be keeping mountaineers informed of progress with the pylons and wind factory issues via its website, which is at: http://www.mountaineering-scotland.org.uk 

The MCofS is the representative body for walkers, climbers, mountaineers and cross-country skiers in Scotland. It is a membership organisation with over 9,000 members (7,000 members in 140 affiliated clubs, 2000 individual members and 29 associate organisations and companies). The MCofS is run by an elected Executive Committee of over 25 volunteers and employs a National Officer, Access and Conservation Officer and Mountain Safety Adviser.

***** *****

APPENDIX 3 Note from Dermot Finnegan 24 June 2005

My battle goes on. We have agreed a valuation for our property of 816,000 with the GMPTE and their advisors Lambert Smith Hampton.(LSH)

We are trying to sell our property at the moment for a guide price of 700,000. it was valued last year at 1M, so we have dropped it by 30%

Since the latest report from Oxford University linking leukaemia to children within 50 metres of power lines the interest in our house has vanished, the perception generated by power lines and this report has frightened potential buyers away.

LSH are refusing to recommend compensation to the GMPTE because it is their view we have suffered no loss by a 400Kva line erected on our boundary.

So I have challenged LSH to sell my house if they consider it not affected and I will pay them. I started off at 16K and am currently offering to pay them 70K to sell Fairways for the valuation they and their client determined.

It may be an unusual way to prove a point but it is as it is and I will continue to up the amount I will pay. This might be an interesting story for revolt

***** *****

-- Mike O'Carroll

 

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