HC Deb 11 July 1949 vol 467 cc5-6
6. Mr. Granville Sharp

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will make a statement as to the instructions he has given or proposes giving to the British Electricity Authority for the laying of underground cables instead of overhead transmission lines in national park areas of exceptional beauty; and whether the additional cost of such work will be met by the British Electricity Authority or by the planning authority concerned.

Mr. Gaitskell

Since my consent is required before any overhead line can be erected anywhere and since before such consent is given I have to grant the local planning authority and the local authority an opportunity of stating their views, instructions of this kind would not be appropriate. As regards the second part of the Question, if consent to an overhead line is refused, the extra cost involved in laying any underground cables would fall on the electricity board concerned.

Mr. Sharp

Does my right hon. Friend's reply mean that the cost will fall on the British Electricity Authority as a whole or on the area concerned?

Mr. Gaitskell

It will fall on the board responsible for laying the underground cable.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Can the Minister give any indication of the average difference in cost between overhead and underground installation?

Mr. Gaitskell

It can certainly amount to about 10 times as much underground compared with the cost of overhead transmission lines.

Mr. Henry Strauss

Can the Minister give the House any assurance that, if overhead transmission is adopted, a mock-Tudor style will not be adopted?

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