[M]P John Woodcock is to speak at a public meeting alongside campaigners who are opposed to giant pylons being installed across the Furness countryside.
National Grid plans to export electricity from a proposed nuclear power station at Moorside near Sellafield to the Lancashire coast via a tunnel underneath Morecambe Bay.
The project involves the erection of 50m high voltage pylons – around the same height as Nelson’s Column –in and around the Lake District National Park near Broughton.
Some residents are worried that the landscape will be scarred by the structures and now Mr Woodcock and members of the Power Without Pylons group are jointly hosting a public meeting in Broughton Victory Hall on Friday, October 28 from 6.30pm.
Mr Woodcock said: “While residents acknowledge the investment that the scheme will bring, there is widespread concern about the damage that stands to be inflicted on our countryside if the company uses giant pylons to see the North West Coast Connections project through.
“After three postponements the National Grid is opening consultation with the public for a 10-week period commencing October 28 and it is vitally important that we stand up and be counted.
“We need to impress upon the company that undergrounding and tunnelling the cables is our favoured option and I am pleased to be able to share the platform with campaigners.”
Power Without Pylons secretary Graham Barron said: “We are campaigning for a solution that avoids putting up giant pylons in and around the national park and that keeps the means of connection out of sight. We believe the best option is to put the connection offshore but, failing that, undergrounding the whole route south of Moorside is the only acceptable alternative.
“National Grid put forward an offshore option in its 2014 consultation and we are dismayed that the company has now dismissed it, despite majority support from members of the public who gave feedback.
“We know – and National Grid knows – that the offshore option is technically feasible and the cost would be less than undergrounding the whole onshore route. But it’s not all about money: the outstanding landscapes of the National Park and its setting are internationally important and need to be protected for everyone’s enjoyment for generations to come.”
The meeting, which is scheduled from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, is in the main hall.