National Grid's Cotswolds Visual Impact Provision

National Grid’s Cotswolds Visual Impact Provision

Going underground in the Cotswolds

Reducing the visual impact of overhead lines over the Cotswold Plateau and along the Cotswold Way.

Up to 20 pylons and 7km of overhead electricity line will be permanently removed from the landscape – from Postlip Mill near Winchcombe to the edge of the Cotswold Plateau north of Dowdeswell Reservoir.
National Grid is at the early stages of developing its proposals and is inviting local people and stakeholders to find out how the plans could transform the landscape in this popular and protected location.

Stakeholders have agreed that the best way to achieve this is to remove a section of this overhead line and replace it with electricity cables buried underground. This represents a major opportunity to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and environmental heritage of this precious Cotswold landscape.

The section of National Grid transmission line to be removed is around 7km long, from the north east of Dixton to the south east of Cheltenham.
The line runs parallel to the Cotswold Way National Trail for much of its length, with many regional trails also crossing the area. As well as Cotswold Way, the existing overhead line can be seen from Belas Knap long barrow, the Winchcombe Way, and Cleeve Common – the latter being very popular with dog walkers, horse riders, cyclists and ramblers.

This section of line was identified by an independent landscape study as having landscape impacts of high importance.
It’s an area of huge national significance, with the World Conservation Union recognising the Cotswolds National Landscape as a Category V protected landscape – a protected area managed mainly for landscape protection and recreation.
Most of the area is covered by farmland, and over half of the country’s flower-rich (Jurassic) limestone grassland can be found in the Cotswolds. The line was judged to have visual impacts of high importance affecting users of the Cotswold Way National Trail and visitors to attractions such as Belas Knap burial ground and Cleeve Common.

Find out more at a public drop-in event

Saturday 24th February, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Abbey Fields Community Centre, Winchcombe, GL54 5QJ

More information about the planning application will be available in  a webinar, to be held on Thursday 29th February at 6:00pm

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