Following assessment of all of SSEN Transmission’s infrastructure in National Parks and National Scenic Areas (NSAs), the overhead lines near Killin in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park were identified as a priority area, where the impacts of the existing infrastructure were higher than elsewhere in Scotland.
The potential for mitigation in this location was considered to be high, due to the numbers of people that could potentially benefit, and the lower level of other environmental constraints.
The electricity and gas markets regulator, Ofgem, is responsible for administering a £500m fund for GB electricity transmission owners to mitigate the impact of existing electricity infrastructure on the visual amenity of nationally designated landscapes. This is part of the RIIO-T1 Price Controls that incentives and regulates how transmission owners operate, covering the eight year period from April 2013 to March 2021.
The primary objective of VISTA is to use the Ofgem funding to deliver the maximum benefit for nationally designated landscapes in the north of Scotland transmission network. This will be achieved by delivering projects that offer significant reductions in visual impact, while avoiding unwanted economic and environmental impacts.
Two parallel overhead lines run south from the Killin substation, across the shoulder of Creag Bhuidhe, towards the River Dochart. After crossing the river to the south of Killin the two overhead lines diverge: one line continues west through Glen Dochart and the other passes south through Glen Ogle.
The pylons are clearly visible from Killin village, and appear in the backdrop to the village in wider views. They are prominent from the Falls of Dochart which is a popular location for visitors. The pylons are also seen from the A827 both on approach to the National Park from the east, and between Killin and Lix Toll.
A total of 7.8 km of overhead line will be removed, including 31 steel lattice towers, between Killin substation and Lix Toll. The removed towers will include the most prominent section above Killin and the Falls of Dochart, as well as those crossing the A827. The project will significantly reduce the quantity of electricity infrastructure in the Killin area.
The proposals will enhance the character and special qualities of this key gateway location to the National Park, and have been designed to benefit the maximum number of people, by focusing on a well visited area, including the popular Falls of Dochart. This will enhance the enjoyment of the landscape and its scenic views, for many people who visit the area.
Throughout the life of our projects, we aim to work positively with local communities and keep people informed about what we are doing. This is particularly important when we are developing a proposal and we want to understand what local people think about our plans.
We endeavour to take the time to discuss proposals with local community councils, encourage engagement from the wider community and listen to the feedback we receive.
We will do our best to answer any questions and address issues or concerns that are raised with us.
When our project progresses into construction, we will continue working closely with the local community to ensure that our work has as little impact on the lives of those living and working in the area and as many long term positive effects as possible.
The data in this map is provided for indicative purposes only and may be subject to change. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc do not accept responsibility for its accuracy, completeness or validity. The data should not be copied, reproduced or utilised externally without permission.
All financially and technically feasible mitigation options that fall within the scope of our Vista policy are open for consideration for project development.
Ofgem have made no link between the proportion of assets within National Parks and National Scenic Areas (NSA’s) within each Transmission Operator’s operational area, and the amount of funding available to them.
Ofgem has set up a separate initiative for mitigating visual impacts with regards to distribution infrastructure. This initiative is being run in parallel and were applicable we will seek to work closely with our Distribution company to ensure that stakeholders will receive best value and our, projects and proposals are coordinated.
Please visit the following for information on the Distribution initiative: www.ssen.co.uk/undergrounding/north/
We are holding a suite of workshops with national and local bodies to ensure that the areas of greatest need are properly identified and that proposals are developed which deliver best value to make a real difference in reducing pre-existing visual impact.
For assets within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park we are working with Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN), the National Park authority, and other groups to ensure our approaches are aligned and complimentary.
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