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Chance to see power lines go underground in Ballater

By Staff Reporter

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Distribution circuits in some areas may be undergrounded.
Distribution circuits in some areas may be undergrounded.

Residents, business owners and visitors are being invited to nominate sections of power lines around Ballater that could be moved underground.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is holding an information event in the village to find out more about undergrounding power lines in the Cairngorms National Park.

SSEN’s teams will be at Victoria and Albert Halls on Saturday, November 16, from 10.30am to 2.30pm to provide details of the electricity network operator's undergrounding project, encouraging members of the local community to nominate overhead wooden pole electricity lines running across officially designated beauty spots they’d like to see moved underground.

SSEN says it is investing more than £15 million to underground 90km of overhead distribution lines in designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks and National Scenic Areas in the north of Scotland and central southern England.

It wants to work with local communities to target the sections of its network which will provide the greatest visual improvement to the natural landscapes the country has to offer.

Michael Hilferty, head of north Caledonia region at SSEN, said: “Overhead power lines on our network provide a secure and cost-effective way of safely distributing electricity to our customers. We understand that in some officially designated beauty spots, some people may feel the lines have a detrimental impact on the natural environment.

“Ballater is the eastern gateway to the Cairngorms National Park and it’s vital our local communities play an important role in this decision-making process. I’d encourage anyone interested in hearing more about our undergrounding project to come along, meet our teams and nominate sections of overhead lines they’d like to see moved underground.

“By understanding what matters to those living in and visiting the area, we can ensure we’re investing in the right places where we know it will make a real difference.”

Members of the public can nominate areas for undergrounding to be assessed by SSEN and local authority planners by visiting ssen.co.uk/undergrounding where they will be asked to provide details of the location, including a photograph, a reason why they think the line should be moved underground and indicate who else in their local community supports the proposal.

SSEN will work with a variety of planning offices to compare and prioritise nominated sections. It says the cost to underground the overhead sections can vary due to the voltage, length of circuit and geography, and these will be considered when selecting the final areas.

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