1. Our friends in Canada lost their court challenge to the Quebec ruling to approve a 725kV line, even though a Judge J Rousseau had previously ruled that it was built illegally (no environmental impact assessment). Now the objectors face 50,000 dollar costs and are looking for help to appeal against the decision. Donations can be made via their website at http://www.ccvsf.org/
2. The North Yorkshire East federation of Women's Institutes is calling on NGC to abandon the Picton - Shipton line, in view of increasing evidence showing that the magnetic fields can block the cancer- preventing effects of the natural hormone melatonin and of the drug tamoxifen. An article in Darlington & Stockton Times 26.10.01 page 13 quotes Mrs Janet Wright, chairman of the WI public affairs and international subcommittee, who refers to Prof Denis Henshaw's risk analysis.
3. Magnetic field readings on Thursday morning 25.10.01 at East Rounton show the existing 400 kV line is operating below 10% of its capacity, reinforcing the case that a new line is not needed.
4. Snippets reported at committee meeting 25.10.01:
4.1 NGC had sent out cheques to landowners without explanation. They seemed to be continuing payments for rental, and possibly cumulative where landowners had returned earlier cheques.
4.2 Balfour Beatty vans no longer go to Tholthorpe yard, but Jarvis vans regularly do. Balfour Beatty have been reinforcing the smaller transmission line at Raskelf going to Menwith Hill.
4.3 Road reinforcements in the Raskelf, Forest Lane and Sutton area, completed a year ago, were starting to sink and deteriorate.
4.4 The next FMD decision day will be 14 November, when more clearance may be given. Farmers are still restricted (e.g. on selling crops) and could reasonably restrict NGC access.
4.5 Land which was set-aside last year, anticipating NGC's work, has now been drilled and has new crops on, giving further reason for landowners to refuse NGC access.
5. NGC plans to resume work are reported by NFU and landowners:
5.1 Work resumed in August on the underground cable. One section is almost complete. A pylon has been built near the Newby end. Foundations have been built for three more pylons at the Nunthorpe end. This is all on the Lackenby - Picton line which Revolt does not oppose.
5.2 Work on Picton-Shipton has not resumed since the February halt for FMD. A letter from DEFRA 14.10.01 says no licence will be needed by NGC except where stock have been culled, but NGC should discuss with farmers to ensure biosecurity is not compromised. NGC are looking to begin work on non-agricultural land, such as Tholthorpe airfield and hardstandings. Work on a pylon at Tholthorpe and on a site just south of Thirsk could start soon. NGC say the main works will begin around April next year.
Mike O'Carroll Download as text