Pylons have and continue to be a blight upon our countryside. From Romney Marsh to the North Downs near Gravesend, ranks of pylons are grim, oppressive and are an industrial scar on Kent’s treasured rural landscape. Close up their incessant buzz sets teeth on edge. There is now a real and present danger that huge swathes of your countryside will be destroyed by these ever-present, over ground lines as they hack their way through the Kent Downs after the Government relaxed laws restricting where they may be placed.
There is an alternative, and it is one which we have proposed and lobbied for. These pylons can be buried underground so that they do not destroy our beautiful and tranquil countryside. However there is little desire to do this as it adds minimal cost to the electricity companies and they only want the cheapest solution. We do not believe that our County should be destroyed simply for someone else’s bottom line, especially when we have one of the most beautiful and tranquil in the United Kingdom.
Why You Need To Worry Now
The government, in all their infinite wisdom has decided to relax the rules on where pylons may be placed. Before this new legislation, companies had to adhere to ‘The Holford Rules’. These are a set of rules which were first introduced in 1959 by Lord Holford who was adviser to the then Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) on amenity issues.
They were a set of rules developed in order to protect our beautiful countryside from the adverse visual impact of huge pylons. The most critical of these rules was the first which states:
“Avoid altogether, if possible, the major areas of high amenity value, by so planning the general route of the line in the first place, even if the total mileage is somewhat increased in consequence.”
However the Government has recently published a draft national policy statement which states that planning inspectors should merely “bear [the Holford Rules] and any updates in mind as they examine applications for overhead lines”.
CPRE Protect Kent is currently working hard to ensure that Pylons do not blight your beautiful County but we do need your help! We are always in need of volunteers to help man our committees and we are always looking for new members to join our charity. You can find out more about joining here.