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Power lines set to vanish from Alston landscape

Raise Bank, Alston before the power lines are removed
Raise Bank, Alston before the power lines are removed

[A]n £86,000 project to remove overhead power lines near the market town of Alston in the North Pennines got under way this week.

Yesterday engineers from Electricity North West, the region’s power network operator, started to remove 700m of overhead power lines and 16 electricity poles which have been in place for more than 60 years from Raise Bank, Alston.

Working closely with the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, engineers also started to remove 280m of overhead power lines and five electricity poles nearby last month at Loaning Head, Alston to help improve the views for local residents and visitors to the area.

Paul McGonigle, programme delivery manager for Electricity North West, said: “We’re delighted to be starting to remove these overhead power lines in this beautiful area to help further enhance the area’s natural beauty.

“We understand that power lines can stand out and we work with AONBs and National Park Authorities to consider schemes that will successfully improve the visual appearance of an area.”

This is the second of three projects for the area and before winter it is anticipated that a total of 2.6km of overhead power line and 40 electricity poles will be removed from the local area.

Simon Wilson, planning and strategic access officer for the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “Burying these cables underground will enhance this beautiful landscape to be enjoyed by generations to come.

“We’re thrilled that Electricity North West is committed to moving more power lines underground in the area and we’re excited to see the enhanced scenery after the extensive work is carried out.”

To allow engineers to carry out the work safely a temporary road closure at Raise Bank will be required for approximately two weeks starting this week. Advance warning signs and a diversion route will be clearly signposted.

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