National Grid Rejects Merton Priory Pylon Plea

Tories lobby for overhead power line replacement

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Campaigners are lobbying for National Grid to remove the electricity pylons which tower over the Merton Priory site.

The call has been made by Merton Conservatives following National Grid's recent awarding of a £200 million contract to build two tunnels for electricity cables in London.

Cllr Samantha George, Conservative Culture Spokesman said: "Merton Conservatives are determined to make the most of the rich heritage of this borough including protecting the Merton Priory site.

"The announcement from National Grid shows there is a clear opportunity to improve the local environment. We will be pressing National Grid to get rid of the pylons that are such an eyesore in this area."

But National Grid have said there are no plans to replace or remove the overhead power lines around the Merton Priory site.

A spokesman said: "The overhead power line that passes through Merton is the 275,000 volt Beddington to Wimbledon line, which is part of the National Grid high-voltage electricity transmission network and has an important role in keeping the lights on in south London. There are no plans to replace or remove the line."

The eight-year contract awarded by National Grid is for Costain to design and build two cable tunnels for the replacement of existing buried cables, not overhead power lines.

The first 20 km tunnel will run from National Grid's substation at Willesden in North West London via Kensal Green, St. John's Wood and Islington to the substation at Hackney in East London, close to the new Olympics site. 

The second 12 km tunnel will run south from Kensal Green to the substation at Wimbledon.  Works will start later this year, with the tunnelling being completed by the end of 2014 and the full energisation of the new cables anticipated by November 2018.

November 1, 2010