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28/02/12: Poles replaced to improve views in St John’s in the Vale and Staveley

Electricity North West is starting the final phase of a project to remove overhead electricity equipment that has provided power to the St Johns and Staveley areas for over half a century.

The power company is replacing 60 electricity poles and more than four kilometres of overhead power lines with two 2km-long networks of underground cable in order to restore the landscape to its original beauty.

The project started last month and Electricity North West has already removed 22 electricity poles and 1.9km of overhead power cables between Cape Asbestos, near Staveley, and Kentmere Hall.

Engineers from the company are now removing the final remaining 28 poles in St John’s in the Vale with work due to be completed in April. No road closures are expected.

Electricity North West, which operates the region’s power network, is carrying out a five-year, £5.4m project to replace lines identified as being most visually intrusive within National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the North West.

Jonathan Booth, asset planning manager, at Electricity North West, said: “We are working in a number of areas across the region to move cables underground as part of an ongoing investment in the network. Projects like this make a real difference to local people and visitors and we are working quickly to complete the removal of poles that have impacted on their views of a special landscape for some time.”

Electricity North West has worked closely with representatives from Natural England, Friends of the Lake District and the Lake District National Park to develop the project plans and avoid impacting on the local wildlife.

Chris Greenwood, landscape architect at the Lake District National Park, said: “It is great to see the poles coming down as quickly as they are and I am sure this work will be hugely appreciated by residents and tourists in the National Park.”

Amanda McLeary from Friends of the Lake District added: “The St John’s and Staveley area in the Lake District was surveyed by volunteers and suggested to Electricity North West for its undergrounding project due to its high scenic value. More areas have been suggested and the positive partnership with Electricity North West is ongoing."

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