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Highland MSP Maree Todd holds talks with SSEN over power line proposals

By Gregor White

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Community groups have expressed unhappiness at the handling of new pylons proposals.
Community groups have expressed unhappiness at the handling of new pylons proposals.

Highland MSP Maree Todd has met with representatives at power giant SSEN to discuss the 400kV overhead electricity transmission line planned to run from Caithness to Beauly following widespread concern about the proposals.

Ms Todd said: “On the correspondence I have received from constituents on SSEN’s proposals, there is an acknowledgement of the need to upgrade the grid to enable renewable power generation expansion in the north Highlands.

"However, there is widespread concern over the impact of the proposals and the consultation thus far.

“I was pleased to have a constructive meeting with SSEN last week where I had the opportunity to put forward the many concerns that have been raised with me locally about the proposals.

“I welcome SSEN’s decision to extend the consultation period to allow constituents, community councils and other stakeholder groups additional time to provide detailed contributions.

“I have received assurances from SSEN that they are fully committed to taking on board consultation feedback and identifying a solution that is as mutually acceptable as possible. It’s important to stress that no specific route alignments have yet been identified.”

MSP Maree Todd.
MSP Maree Todd.

She added: “I have also urged SSEN to improve their communication and provide clarity on certain aspects of the plans to ensure communities are fully informed, which I understand they are seeking to address.

“It is vital that local voices are heard, so I would urge those living in the impacted communities to participate in the consultation.

“I will continue to engage with SSEN on this matter to ensure the impacted communities are listened to.”

Details of the consultation can be accessed here

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