PLANS TO BUILD GAS PIPELINE POSTPONED

The organisation that exists to oversee the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Cotswolds Conservation Board has welcomed National Grid's decision to postpone plans to build a pipeline, which would cut through parts of the 790 square mile protected landscape.

National Grid had been seeking the Secretary of State's consent to build the 44km natural gas pipeline from Wormington in Worcestershire to Sapperton in Gloucestershire.

National Grid have said that the reason for the turn around is that revised figures show that gas demand for the West of England is not rising as fast as originally forecast. It has said that that situation will be kept under review because the pipeline may be needed in the future.

The Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board Martin Lane said:

"The Board can only welcome the decision to put plans to build the pipeline on hold. We objected to the environmental impact assessment for the proposed pipeline because it did not consider an alternative route outside of the AONB.

At the time we wrote to the Department of Trade and Industry, (now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) stating our objection and this resulted in a request for National Grid to investigate alternative routes outside the area.

An alternative route that had a much lower impact on the AONB was identified and should a review of the pipeline lead to the plans being put back on the table the Board will be strongly advocating a full re-examination of the options available with an emphasis on routes outside of the AONB."