1. Word back from Hambleton DC confirms the planning condition that work must have started by 26.3.03. The definition of work starting is thought not to include survey and highways work, but site preparation at a pylon site may be enough.
2. The NFU solicitors, Jacksons, are looking into responding on behalf of Alan Turner to demand of NGC that they accept their entry was unlawful and undertake not to do it again, otherwise legal action will be taken against NGC to demonstrate the unlawfulness of their entry under the compulsory wayleave without the permission of the landowner.
3. Interesting new gas-insulated transmission cables for more economic undergrounding are described on the Siemens web site at http://www.ev.siemens.de/en/pages/gas-insu.htm with other details on the similar addresses with the last bit changed to product3.htm or technis0.htm These cables save by having low operating losses. They are not superconducting cables, but have similar advantages, and are flexible and easily installed. They are of ample capacity for National Grid's proposed new Yorkshire line, up to 800kV and 3000 MW and system length to 100km. Why then are National Grid not using them, nor even active in researching such developments?
4. Balfour Beatty advertised in the Easingwold Advertiser 26 May for a receptionist at their "small office based in Tholthorpe", believed to be the intended hub of pylon construction for Picton - Shipton.
5. Article in Professional Engineering 30.5.01 describes a National Grid undersea interconnector project to link Hartlepool (Hawthorne Pit Substation) with Stavanger, Norway, rated at 800 - 1320 MW. That's almost as much as the capacity of the Hartlepool nuclear power station and would have a significant impact on the argument for the Yorkshire line. At 400 - 500 million pounds for 450 miles, it makes you wonder again about the undersea alternative to take power south from Teesside, since the Lackenby - Picton - Shipton project was estimated at c. 200 million pounds for 50 miles in 1992. DTI confirm NGC are finalising their application, which doesn't require Electricity Act section 37 works. The local planning authority will be responsible for the underground cable and changes to the substation.
6. Another election is over. Another Secretary of State - lost count of how many we have dealt with. Patricia Hewitt is the latest SoS for Trade & Industry. Former Energy Minister Peter Hain is off to replace Keith Vaz. Margaret Becket (who as SoS for T&I gave the consent in 1998) is back in the frame in the new Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, cobbled together from the broken up DETR and MAFF.
7. In the County elections, not much change. Revolt Secretary Robert Adamson came creditably close in Easingwold, whereas I failed to make an impact on Cllr John Dennis's majority in Appleton Wiske, though I did double the previous Independent vote and exceeded my target. While we have some members there, Revolt is not much known west of Northallerton, in parts of the Appleton Wiske constituency such as Leeming Bar and Morton on Swale. They, of course, have their own local problems.
A Three Tun Web