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REVOLT: Outline Strategy updated to September 2000 for confirmation at AGM 2000
Although the case for the whole line is contrived and wrong, events now distinguish the two sections Lackenby-Picton (L-P) and Picton-Shipton (P-S). The increased undergrounding and landowners’ agreement to it, the now formal requirement for the removal of the 275 kV line, and the closure of Blyth power stations strengthen both the case for L-P and the case against P-S.
REVOLT will not oppose L-P in principle, although it will continue to object to avoidable local impacts such as the closeness to houses at Eston and the extreme closeness of underground cables to a house at Nunthorpe where substantial magnetic fields will penetrate the house.
REVOLT will vigorously oppose P-S in principle and will call for the line from Lackenby to be teed in to the existing line at Picton. P-S is unnecessary and will promote massive waste of energy and money. With the closure of Blyth, even NGC’s contrived need for security reasons disappears and their technical case reduces to one of stability, which is best solved by installing compensating equipment on the existing grid and not by a new line. New conductor technology can increase the capacity of the existing 400 kV line and provide further improvements if ever needed.
Emerging government energy policy, including new CHP targets and diversity of fuel sources, continues to move in our favour. Sooner or later the grid line must be seen as counter to economic and environmental aims.
REVOLT has always had all-party support and will continue to be non-party-political. We will keep working to persuade NGC and government of the sense of our campaign, and to help them find a credible way forward.
REVOLT recognises the distorted financial incentives on NGC to get the new line. It would cost them nothing (consumers would pay) and earn them highly profitable contracts for long-distance transmission from Scotland which is fundamentally uneconomic. We will press the new joint electricity and gas regulator to improve regulation against this waste
We will continue to raise the public profile of the issue to support the political and industrial persuasion. If they go ahead, the pylons will be made a monument to the guilty politicians. REVOLT will alert the rest of England to the knock-on grid developments they can expect.
REVOLT’s policy is maximum resistance. We will consult the police and local authorities.
We aim to keep NGC to the legal requirements and conditions of consent, which include working only in dry weather and when the soil is dry.
We will expose flaws in NGC’s plans and in DTI’s rulings.
We will intervene to object where work is unlawful or out of order.
We will support landowners, noting that NGC is not entitled to access to their land without their agreement.
We do not assume that the P-S line will be completed. Opposition will continue. The facility for review and removal of the line at any time after 5 years (i.e. from 1998 or in 2003) will be pursued. In 5 years the industry will have moved forward to smaller, cleaner CHP units replacing giant remote power stations, so that the need for grid lines is much reduced.