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Hector Pearson, Planning Policy Manager at the National Grid delivered a keynote speech at the conference providing an update on the Visual Impact Provision project,a major initiative to reduce the visual impact of transmission lines in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks.
The project which has been developed in response to the £500 million allowance made available by Ofgem in March 2013, which applies to all electricity transmission owners across Great Britain.
As the company’s lead on the project, Pearson is working alongside the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and organisations including the Campaign for National Parks, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Campaign to Protect Rural Wales, and the National Trust.
Together with some of the UK’s leading landscape consultants, the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Group’s members will identify potential projects – both large and small – that can deliver the greatest visual mitigation of existing transmission lines.
A ‘Question Time’ panel debate with Howard Davies (NAAONB), Lord De Mauley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for natural environment and science), Chris Woodley-Stuart (NAAONB/North Pennines AONB), Steve Rodrick (Chilterns Conservation Board), Mat Roberts (Landmarc Support Services) and David Butterworth (Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority).
Watch the video of the Question Time panel below.
Questions posed to the panel:
What do the panel think is the unique selling point of AONBs?
Helen Hambleton from the North Pennines
Despite several decades of agri-environment schemes, wildlife is still in decline – what can we do about this?
Phil Holden from the Shropshire Hills
Can Defra provide an assurance that local authorities are in no doubt that they are expected to support AONB Partnerships through the established funding arrangement?
Rose Day, North Devon
AONB Partnerships and national Park Authorities are working hard to diversify their income streams – how much more could they do?
Corinna Woodall, Tamar Valley
We are all aware of the work Defra has put in to protecting our budgets – is there anything more we can do to help this effort going forward?
Paul Jackson from the Howardian Hills