PLANS TO CREATE a series of overhead power cables through the Speyside countryside have prompted a plea for a rethink.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) have been undertaking a consultation on how to transmit power from the Dorenell Wind Farm to the Blackhillock sub-station near Keith – and have concluded that the best way to do that is through overhead, rather than underground, cabling.
That has caused consternation in local communities along the route – and prompted local MSP Richard Lochhead to ask the company to reconsider.
Mr Lochhead has responded after being approached by constituents – and has now written to SSE’s Chief Executive asking that he investigate an underground option to avoid a negative visual impact on the area, part of which is an Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV).
Mr Lochhead said: “I have been contacted by quite a number of constituents who are extremely concerned about the impact that overhead cabling will have on the local landscape.
“Local businesses are worried about the impact on the tourist industry and others are anxious about the effect on an area which is designated as an AGLV.
“That is why I think that investigating undergrounding the cables from Dorenell to Blackhillock merits serious consideration. Therefore, I have written to the Chief Executive of SSE asking them to consider this proposal.
“This, to me, is the best of both worlds. Undergrounding would get the two sites connected but would alleviate local concerns and worries. I hope that SSE will consider this as a positive option.”