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 statement 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."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The statement above is the Board's response to this story and no further comments will be made. (This includes photo shoots etc).

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the

Cotswolds Conservation Board - an independent organisation with 40 members,

17 nominated by local authorities, eight by parish councils and 15 appointed

by Government.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board acts as an advisor to planning departments of the 17 local authorities within the AONB.

The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of

national importance.

With its rolling hills and valleys the Cotswolds is the largest of 40 AONBs

in England and Wales and is protected to ensure that its beauty and special

character are conserved. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square

miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north,

through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the

south.

Press contact: Claire Cunningham

Tel: 01451 862003

Cotswolds Conservation Board Fosse Way, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3JH

Tel: 01451 862000 Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk