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Summary

  1. The Scottish FA gives evidence to the Sport Committee on child protection in sport
  2. Topical questions will see queries about teaching staff levels and families in emergency accommodation
  3. The Scottish government lead a debate on Article 50
  4. Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles leads this evening's member's debate entitled 'Blackhillock to Kintore Transmission Line'

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. Government will continue to liaise with National Grid on plans

    Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse
    Image caption: Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse

    Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse says it would be inappropriate for him to give a view on the lines.

    Mr Wheelhouse says he has listened to the views expressed today.

    The energy minister says there are protections to prevent unacceptable environmental damage with transmission lines.

    He says it is the role of Ofgem to scrutinize planning applications for transmission lines.

    Mr Wheelhouse says the government will continue to liaise with National Grid and partners to look into overhead and underground lines.

  2. Background: From SSEN Blog

    For SSEN, this year’s NOA report includes a change to the recommendation on the potential 400kV reinforcement project between Beauly, Blackhillock and Kintore that we have been developing to transport renewable energy from the north of Scotland. 

    In last year’s NOA report the project was recommended to “delay” such that it could be delivered one year later than originally planned. 

    However, in this year’s NOA report the project recommendation has changed to “do not proceed” which indicates that we should pause work on the project.

    We note this outcome from this year’s NOA and will now begin discussions with affected parties (including generation developers and local communities) about how to take forward the recommendations.

  3. 'This is clearly a victory for people power'

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr
    Image caption: Tory MSP Liam Kerr

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr says he is delighted the National Grid Network Options Assessment means the work will not go ahead in the near future

    Mr Kerr says: "This is clearly a victory for people power."

  4. Background: Last year SSE revealed preferred 'corridor' for Beauly-Kintore line

    The issue may be resolved for now, but last year Energy firm SSE selected its preferred "corridor" for an upgraded powerline between Beauly in the Highlands and Kintore in Aberdeenshire.

    The existing line was to be reinforced so it can carry more electricity.

    The corridor was the area of land in which the route of the upgraded line would be built. SSE made its selection from three possible corridors.

    A map showing SSE's preferred corridor for the upgraded powerline
    Image caption: A map showing SSE's preferred corridor for the upgraded powerline

    The company said it has sought to avoid historic sites and landscapes, such as Culloden Battlefield and Bennachie.

    The battlefield is near Inverness, while Bennachie is a hill with a number of distinctive rocky tops in Aberdeenshire.

    SSE says it has sought to protect historic sites such as Culloden Battlefield
    Image caption: SSE says it has sought to protect historic sites such as Culloden Battlefield

    SE said consent for the upgraded line could be sought from the Scottish government in 2019.

    The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has previously raised concerns about the line being routed close to historic sites, such as Culloden Battlefield and the nearby Clava Cairns.

    A Jacobite force led by Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated at Culloden by a government army in April 1746.

  5. Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says it is good to have a wider debate on transmission lines

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant
    Image caption: Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says it is good to have a wider debate although this issue seems to have been resolved for now.

    Ms Grant congratulates Mr Rumbles on the success of the campaign.

  6. Tory MSP there could be a different answer next year on the Blackhillock to Kintore transmission reinforcement

    Tory MSP Alexander Burnett
    Image caption: Tory MSP Alexander Burnett

    Tory MSP Alexander Burnett says whilst the publication of a new National Grid options assessment is good news, there could be a different answer next year and that is simply not good enough.

  7. SNP MSP welcomes the news that transmission reinforcement pylon plans are not going ahead

    SNP MSP Richard Lochhead
    Image caption: SNP MSP Richard Lochhead

    SNP MSP Richard Lochhead says it is not often that tabling a motion has such an immediate impact in infrastructure because plans have now been changed.

    Mr Lochhead says he is not sure whether it is the 'power of his pen or coincidence" but he too welcomes the news that plans for the transmission reinforcement pylons are not going ahead. 

  8. Lib Dem MSP hoping for a consensual debate

    Scottish Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles says following a contentious debate he hope this one will be consensual.

    Mr Rumbles thanks his colleagues for allowing him to bring this debate saying his party only get three member's debates per year. 

    Scottish Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles
    Image caption: Scottish Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles

    The Lib Dem MSP says there are several constituents in the gallery today who are affected by this.

    He says decisions by the National Grid are visited annually and there is a possibility that it could change its mind on the transmission reinforcement.

    "This is why I am bringing this debate he says". 

  9. Blackhillock to Kintore transmission reinforcement

    Mr Rumbles uses his motion to highlight concern that has been expressed by communities in proximity to Scottish and Southern Electricity Network’s proposed Blackhillock to Kintore transmission reinforcement regarding the development’s potential visual impact.

    The Lib Dem MSP says the National Assembly for Wales unanimously passed a motion on 18 January 2017 endorsing the use of underground cables and alternatives to pylons where feasible, with a view to minimising the visual impact of such infrastructure.

    Pylon

    He says there is a need for effective community consultation and the importance of incorporating feedback as a means for addressing such concerns.

    Mr Rumbles highlights the outstanding natural beauty of this countryside, for example the area around Bennachie and says it must be protected

    He also points to communities’ urgent calls for the existing plans to be the subject of substantial change and mitigation action in order for this to be achieved.  

  10. Here is the motion for the Blackhillock to Kintore Transmission Line debate

    Motion for the debate
  11. The Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill – UK Legislation is agreed unanimously.

    The Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill – UK Legislation is agreed unanimously. 

    Motion