Snowdonia National Park Authority and Gwynedd Council have granted National Grid’s Snowdonia Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project planning permission to build tunnel head houses on the edge of the national park.
These buildings will house the opening of the tunnel that will carry cables under the Dwyryd Estuary near Porthmadog instead of over it. This will enable the eventual removal of the 10 pylons that run across it and 3km of overhead line, returning the area to its natural beauty.
As the project area spans two planning authorities, planning permission for a tunnel head house on the western side of the estuary was decided by the Gwynedd Council and Snowdonia National Park Authority for works at the eastern side.
National Grid’s VIP project manager, Michelle Clark, said: “We’re delighted that the Snowdonia VIP project has been granted planning permission for our proposals to reduce the visual impact of a 3km section of overhead line across the Dwyryd Estuary. This is a major landmark in the project’s progress, and we would like to thank the Park Authority and Gwynedd Council for the constructive advice it has given us throughout the process. From the outset our proposals have been very much shaped by stakeholders and we now have the positive outcome we had hoped for.”
Chris Baines, chair of the project’s independent stakeholder advisory gGroup, said: “The effect will be transformational, and locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy the unspoiled splendour of the Dwyryd Estuary for the first time in generations. The project is the culmination of five years of teamwork and consultation between National Grid, local and national stakeholders and crucially the local community.”
Snowdonia is the third of National Grid’s VIP projects to reach this stage, with proposals for projects in the Peak District National Park and Dorset receiving planning consent already. In February 2019 Morgan Sindall was given an £80m contract to bury electricity cables in Dorset and get rid of pylons.