South West Wales

Plan to remove Strumble Head cables

Strumble Head - photo Alwyne Jenkins
Image caption Members of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority backed the bid for Strumble Head

Overhead electricity cables at one of Pembrokeshire's outstanding beauty spots may be buried underground.

Talks are taking place with landowners at Strumble Head near Fishguard over the possibility of removing the unsightly electricity lines.

The £230,000 cost would be covered by Western Power.

It has set aside £1m for such work in four protected landscapes, Gower, the Wye Valley, the Brecon Beacons and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Each area has been asked to submit a bid to improve the views at an "iconic site".

Members of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority have endorsed plans to remove overhead cabling at Strumble Head.

The park said it was one of the top sites in the UK for watching seabirds while many hundreds of people also used it for spotting dolphins, porpoise and grey seals immediately off the coast.

It is one of eight registered landscapes of historic importance within the park and an area rich in archaeology with some sites having Scheduled Ancient Monument status.

The lighthouse is one of a number of listed buildings in the area.

The park states: "The negative visual impact of the existing overhead utility supplies leading to the lighthouse, and the special qualities of the landscape, have identified this section of overhead line as an outstanding candidate."

'Iconic sites'

A spokesperson said it was hoped work would proceed "as soon as reasonably possible."

Western Power said £1m would be spent on the scheme over the next five years.

It said there was a "careful balance" between improving "iconic sites" and ensuring costs did not rise for its customers.

Other energy distributors have undertaken similar work in different parts of the UK.

EDF Energy has removed overhead power lines from the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Kent Downs and at Cliffe near Dover.

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