ANGRY residents are fuming over a government refusal to hold a public inquiry into plans for a 13-mile overhead power line cutting through some of the most sensitive areas of South Warrington.
The 132kv cable, mounted on 49ft high posts, will run from Carrington, near Sale to Lostock, near Northwich and is needed to boost power supplies in East Cheshire.
But it will scythe through some of the few remaining rural areas of Lymm – and opponents say it is “nothing short of desecration.”
Ministers at the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) say they are “minded to approve” the proposals put forward by Scottish Power Manweb.
Objections were lodged by a number of authorities, including Trafford, Macclesfield, Warrington, Vale Royal and Cheshire, although some were later withdrawn.
But according to Coun Sheila Woodyatt (pictured), of Warrington Borough and Lymm Parish councils, the reason no public inquiry is to be held is that the objections were received after the end of a 22-day consultation period.
She said: “I call this nit-picking. A public inquiry would be the most democratic way to resolve this issue.
“This power line will effect the Lymm area more than anywhere and hundreds of people living in Higher Lane, Oughtrington Lane, Burford Lane and Spring Lane are opposed to it.
“The line will pass through the only unspoilt country left in the Lymm area.
“It will have a devastating impact – as it will in Great Budworth.
“This plan was first put forward in 2003 and we have been fighting it ever since. But it seems we have lost.
“I still think there should be a public inquiry in the interests of democracy. It would give ordinary people a chance to have their say.”
The power line will pass through through land north of Wet Gate Lane to south of Higher Lane, Lymm.
It will cross open pasture land, woodland and footpaths used by walkers and horse riders and also run within 40ft of houses.
Scottish Power Manweb say there is an urgent need for extra supplies in East Cheshire. A couple of years ago there was an incident when supplies nearly broke down.
Other routes have been examined, as has placing the cable underground. But all have technical problems and would be more costly. An underground cable would have enormous maintenance problems. However, some lower voltage cables in the Lymm area will be placed underground, they say.
var uri = 'http://impgb.tradedoubler.com/imp?type(js)g(17264152)a(1091669)' + new String (Math.random()).substring (2, 11);