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Undergrounding of Powerlines

Under the Electricity Act 1989 Ofgem, the regulator of the electrical distribution industry has a duty to have regard to the impact of distribution activities on the environment. In response to this, under the Distribution Price Control Review for the period 2005-2010 Ofgem provided an optional allowance for Distribution Network Operators to underground low voltage power lines in National Parks and AONBs.

Since 2005 the AONB team and representatives from other protected landscapes in the south west area have worked with the local Distribution Network Operators, Southern Electric Power Distribution and Western Power Distribution, and identified and successfully undergrounded several visually intrusive powerlines.

The Dorset AONB has greatly benefited from the allowance and a total of approximately 15km of powerlines have been undergrounded in Purbeck at Worth Matravers, Studland and Hartland Moor, and in West Dorset at Abbotsbury. The removal of many unsightly powerlines, poles and associated infrastructure has significantly improved the quality of views and contributed to the enhancement of the landscape.

The photos below show the removal of powerlines along Ferry Road to Godlingston Heath at Studland in Purbeck.

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With regards the Distribution Price Control Review for the current period 2010-2015, we are working alongside Southern Electric Power Distribution to identify schemes within the network area.

In a national survey commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, respondants perceived "seeing the stars at night" as one of the top 10 factors that contributes to their sense of experiencing tranquillity when they visit the countryside.

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