Dumfries & Galloway is rightly famed for its green and pleasant scenery and that is what draws so many people to visit our region each year either to spend their holidays here or simply for a short visit. We are, in every sense of the word, a rural region and that is what makes the area so special.
With such uniqueness it is not surprising that agriculture and tourism play a large part in our economy with 29% of employment accounted for by hotels, restaurants and distribution alone . We have to ask ourselves, therefore, what impact this proposal by Scottish Power Energy Networks to run a high voltage super-grid throughout our region will have – not only our beautiful land but also on this key employment sector on which our region depends.
The answer is not too hard to imagine. Would you, as a visitor to the region, prefer to gaze out on one of the many thousands of beautiful views in our region, such as the one above which looks down the Cairn Valley, or would you come here to see a line of pylons such as the one shown below on the new Beauly-Denny line?
One local resident, Elizabeth Hall, has expressed her concerns about this and I thought it would be useful to share her views more widely.
Can I recommend that anyone with similar concerns for SPENs proposals may wish to copy and paste the letter below and e-mail it to all our elected representatives. You will find them listed on this site.
As always please feel free to modify the template to suit your needs and writing style. And don’t think you need to live in the region. You may have family and friends who visit or you may holiday in the region, or may be thinking of visiting the region in the future. Either way your views are equally important – so make them heard.
 Dumfries & Galloway Economic Briefing Report, April 2013.
Scottish Power Energy Networks Strategic Reinforcement Project – Impact on Tourism and Local Economies:
The Scottish Government as well as the Dumfries and Galloway Council have frequently declared that they want to encourage tourism and encourage farmers to diversify by converting buildings into holiday homes etc. The area Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) suggest for the route is vital to tourism and tourism is vital to the economy of small communities and to local jobs in remote areas. If they gain permission to build the pylons, visitor numbers will fall and this will reduce the possibility of work, particularly part time work thus jeopardising the existence of small rural businesses in an attractive remote area.
In spite of the recently published figures for Scottish tourism in 2014, in which Homecoming and the Commonwealth Games played a significant part, it was also reported that it is unlikely that Scotland can reach the tourism goal set by Holyrood for 2020.
I urge you, therefore, to reject SPENs current proposal at every possible opportunity and request they come forward with an alternative that is more sympathetic to the visual amenity value of the region.