Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead yesterday [Monday 17th] held a meeting in Drummuir bringing together concerned residents and representatives of SSE on the proposed power lines through Speyside.

Mr Lochhead arranged the meeting following contact from constituents concerned about the plans for the electricity poles, which will connect Dorenell windfarm to the Blackhillock substation near Keith.

Speaking after the meeting, Richard Lochhead MSP said:

"Around twenty constituents directly affected in one way or another by the proposed power lines attended my meeting in Drummuir with SSE to voice their concerns over the impact of the development.

"Given that SSE acknowledged in a letter to me that there are indeed individual cases where there is a significant visual impact on a number of local residents, every effort should be made even at this late stage to investigate any further changes that can be made to minimise the impact of the new lines.

"We are after all talking about a beautiful part of Moray and Speyside with landmarks popular with tourists, such as Auchindoon Castle, that will potentially be affected.  Although the changes already made by SSE to the original route and infrastructure are welcome, further work is needed to identify what more can be done, including further consideration of under-grounding where appropriate.  Everyone at the meeting accepted that SSE had not provided a sufficient explanation as to why this option has been completely ruled out.

"Due to hosting the Blackhillock sub-station, Moray already has a considerable amount of  electricity transmission infrastructure some of which is thankfully already underground and to avoid a potentially harmful cumulative effect, everything that can be done should be done to minimise any further impact on our landscapes and local environment.

"We should always leave no stone unturned so we don't end up with a web of criss-crossing pylons across Speyside and Moray when other options were available.

"I'm pleased that following our meeting SSE have agreed to have further discussions with my constituents and I will also be raising their cases with the Scottish Government's Consents Unit who are currently considering the planning application given that Ministers will have the final say."