planning-background.jpg

Representations Recieved

Mr C Baines

Details of the representation

Planning Application – Determination - NP/B/0819/0885

Construction of new sealing end compound, including permanent access. Construction of temporary haul road from Brook Hill Lane including widened bell mouth. Construction of temporary Trans Pennine Trail diversion to be used for approximately 12 - 18 months following construction approximately 410m of said diversion surface would be retained permanently. Erection of 2 bridges (1 temporary and 1 permanent) along the Trans Pennine Trail diversion at Dunford Bridge

 

400 word statement from the Chairman

Visual Impact Provision project

Independent Stakeholder Advisory Group

 

I support the application.

 

I grew up in the West Riding, so maybe I am biased, but I think that the valley around Dunford Bridge is beautiful - a classic “Dark-Peak” combination of historic stone-walled farmland and open heather moorland with a fast-flowing river at its heart.  For most of the last 200 years its natural beauty has been blighted – first by the construction and running of the railway, and for the past half-century by the National Grid’s pylons and powerlines.  This proposal will be transformational!  It will bring huge long term environmental, recreational and economic benefits and will provide an extremely attractive and accessible eastern gateway to the Peak District National Park for the people of Barnsley, South Yorkshire and increasing numbers of national and international visitors. This is a unique opportunity which must not be missed.

 

I have been personally involved as independent chairman of the Stakeholder Advisory Group for National Grid’s V I P (Visual Impact Provision) programme. I am also a national vice President of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.  Having visited the project site on more than one occasion I am confident that the ecological integrity of the valley and its nature reserve on the historic railway yard and line-side can be sustained following the cable undergrounding operation.

 

The Dunford Bridge scheme is one of only four across the country, selected by the independent advisory group following rigorous assessment of more than 100 alternatives.  That is a measure of the valley’s special qualities and the benefits that pylon removal will bring. After several years of intense consultation ahead of the application there are clear plans to minimise short-term disturbance, to manage public access to the Trans Pennine Trail and cycleway throughout and to invest in habitat restoration and the full reinstatement of the Trail. 

 

The improvements to the car park and bus terminus (part of a separate application to PDNPA) and greater interpretation of the industrial and natural history of the valley will enhance the sense of place and provide scope to learn about the benefits of the scheme.

 

This will be the first project of its kind to be delivered in a National Park anywhere in the world. It will set new environmental standards for the electricity transmission industry in the UK and elsewhere, and it should be enthusiastically supported by both the Peak District National Park Authority and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.