In 2005 we created a steering group of environmental experts with members from the AONBs and National Parks in our distribution area. The panel champions and prioritises how funding is invested - our engineers provide technical advice and undertake the work.
The steering group's assessment methodology to prioritise undergrounding is based on: the impact of overhead lines on landscape character, visual amenity, landscape features and whether undergrounding will improve the setting of a heritage asset or other historical feature and the biodiversity benefits of the scheme.
The feasibility of each scheme is assessed from a technical perspective by UK Power Networks engineering staff.
The undergrounding steering group meets quarterly to consider locally assessed schemes. If a scheme is to go ahead, a budget is ring-fenced and the National Park or AONB staff develops the proposal further.
Consultations and negotiations with landowners are carried out before a scheme is submitted to UK Power Networks to secure formal consents and wayleaves. This process can take up to a year depending on the complexity of the scheme.
We work closely with environmental experts, trusts and local councils to prioritise future schemes. But if you know of an area you feel would benefit from the undergrounding of overhead power lines, please let us know.
UK Power Networks are proud to work with a diverse and committed group of partners who are responsible for the environment, heritage, wildlife, animal protection, biodiversity, tourism and the landscape.