§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will examine and modify the regulations currently enforced when a farmer applies for an overhead transmission line for electricity supply, whereby ministerial consent is needed for each individual case, in addition to the consent of the district and county planning 154W authorities, which causes lengthy delay in the provision of the service.
§ Mr. Eadie
An overhead electricity transmission or distribution line requires the Secretary of State's consent under the electricity Acts together with deemed planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. The Acts require him to seek the views of the local planning authorities before granting his consent and should they object to a proposed line he is bound to hold a public inquiry. This statutory procedure does take time to complete but everything possible is done to avoid unnecessary delays.
Electricity supplies to individual consumers are provided by service lines for which electricity boards do not need the Secretary of State's consent. The Secretary of State has no proposals to modify electricity overhead line legislation but if the hon. Member has a particular case in mind we would be pleased to look into it.