Power company to test feasibility of underground cables in Dalmally

Campaigners say No More Pylons in Dalmally, SSEN says the line would be around 1km from all properties in Dalmally village

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A power company has pledged to explore the possibility of putting cables underground after campaigning Dalmally villagers said no to more pylons.

Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) wanted to install nine new pylons in the village but those plans angered residents – Dalmally already has 29 pylons running through it.

Resident Jenny Beesley said the news from SSEN was ‘a step in the right direction’.

‘If they are going to look at putting cables underground then that’s wonderful. They said they had looked at it before but it was going to be too expensive but if they are having a re-think on that, then it’s good news. We know they have to get electricity out of Argyll but we already have too many pylons in our village. To add more would be to industrialise this beautiful area which would be tragic,’ she added.

Under SSEN’s North Argyll transmission project, 52 pylons would stretch  eight miles between the proposed new substation at Creag Dhubh and the existing Dalmally substation by Loch Awe, near Oban. It was proposed nine of the 150ft tall pylons would be in the village.

A consultation on the project closed on April 27 and SSEN is now ‘carefully’ considering the feedback to refine its proposals.

In a statement, SSEN said it recognised ‘the extent of strong feeling in the Dalmally area’ and was committed to explore undergrounding in places of particular local sensitivity, where it can be demonstrated to be technically and environmentally feasible, as well as economic to bill payers who will ultimately pay for the proposed reinforcement through their electricity bills.

SSEN project manager Derek Hearns said: ‘Although it is too early to say if this will be viable, we hope our continued commitment to seriously consider undergrounding demonstrates we are listening and that we genuinely want to work with the local community to address their concerns where we can.’

The community will be kept updated by SSEN throughout the year as work progresses.