When the Scottish Government gave approval to the highly controversial Beauly to Denny Pylons, against massive public opinion, they stated that Scottish Power must come up with an acceptable scheme of mitigation covering the sensitive Sheriffmuir and Ochill Hills area. Construction of the Pylons cannot proceed until the Scottish Government approves whatever mitigation measures that Scottish Power comes up with. Scottish Power's original proposal, that they paint the Pylons and plant shrubs around them, was considered totally unacceptable. Stirling Council described them as 'wholly inadequate' and accused Scottish Power of doing little to address the concerns of the Council and local communities.
Stirling Council and the various protest groups including the Clan MacRae Society are pushing for the pylon line to be undergrounded in soft terrain to the west of Stirling, thus avoiding Sheriffmuir and the Ochills. The power companies had claimed that the cost of undergrounding would be 20 times that of constructing pylons. However, a recent report by the leading European Electricity Body ENTSO-E, remarkably endorsed by both Scottish Power and Scottish Hydro Electric, states that the actual cost would only be between 5 and 10 times that of pylons. A small price to pay to preserve our landscape! They also state that faults on underground sections occur only once in every 33 years, sweet music to the ears of those who regularly suffer electricity failures whenever cables come down in winter storms.
The power companies have stated that, if instructed to underground the line by the Scottish Government, then they will do so. If taken across Sheriffmuir, the pylons would desecrate the Battlefield, contaminate the peaceful tranquillity of the moor and destroy that iconic view north from Stirling Castle towards the Wallace Monument and the Ochills. If this is allowed to happen, it will be because our Scottish Government permitted it. We await their decision!