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22/02/12: Cables ‘going underground’ in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Electricity poles are to be taken down in Arnside and Silverdale AONB over the next three months as part of a £137,000 project to restore the landscape to its original beauty.

Electricity North West will remove six overhead poles and 500m of 11kV electricity cable that runs adjacent to Park Road between Milnthorpe and Arnside, and replace it with new underground equipment.

Work is due to start at the end of February when engineers will drill under the bed of the River Bela and run new underground cable beneath it.

The work is part of the company’s five-year, £5.4m project to move the most visually-intrusive electricity lines underground within the North West’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Electricity North West, which operates the region’s power network, has worked with the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to identify areas that would most benefit from having their original landscape restored. It was decided to remove the poles in Milnthorpe in order to restore views from the main access road into the area.

Jonathan Booth, asset planning manager for Electricity North West, said: “We are carrying out a number of projects to replace equipment that impacts on the views of special landscapes. The work in Arnside and Silverdale requires great skill to install the new cable beneath the River Bela and our engineers are looking forward to getting started on the work.”

David Askew, of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, said: “The electricity poles have been a necessary blot on the landscape for some time so it is great that Electricity North West is starting work to replace them. The poles impede views from the main road into what is a very special environment, across the Kent Estuary to Whitbarrow and the Lake District and we’re sure residents and tourists will be delighted to see the original landscapes restored.”

The project is expected to take three months to complete and Electricity North West is advising there should be no disruption to motorists in the area during the work.

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