Agricultural Land (Pylons)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Power – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th May 1965.

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Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington 12:00 am, 25th May 1965

asked the Minister of Power what compensation is being paid by the Central Electricity Generating Board and the area boards for the erection of poles and pylons across agricultural land; and whether he will seek power to revise the existing rates.

Photo of Mr Frederick Lee Mr Frederick Lee , Newton

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a recent Electricity Council Press release giving details of increased rates which were introduced from 1st April this year, after discussions between the boards and the Country Landowners' Association and the National Farmers' Union. As the Press release states, the parties have agreed to conduct an immediate joint investigation to see whether further revision is now necessary.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

I thank the Minister for his reply and the information that there will be increases. Will he bear in mind that the most important difficulty relates to the siting of these poles and pylons and that what is needed is a little thought and the placing of them in hedgerows and places where they do not interfere with agricultural land? Is he aware that this has not been done in the past? Will he look into the matter to see what can be done to take the poles and pylons out of the fields and put them in the hedgerows?

Photo of Mr Frederick Lee Mr Frederick Lee , Newton

In the discussions to which I have referred the appropriate organisations will bring this kind of thing to the notice of the Board.

Photo of Mr Bill Baker Mr Bill Baker , Banffshire

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House whether the increases were applied to Scotland as well as to England?

Photo of Mr Frederick Lee Mr Frederick Lee , Newton

I could not answer that with-out notice.

Photo of Mr Simon Digby Mr Simon Digby , West Dorset

Is the Minister aware that last week in my constituency one of these new 110 foot pylons collapsed killing one man and injuring five others? Will the compensation produce an element of danger money for those living round about, or does he intend to make the process of erecting the pylons safer?

Photo of Mr Frederick Lee Mr Frederick Lee , Newton

I heard about that accident and I am sorry about it. I do not think that I can form an opinion about it now. As I have said, discussions are taking place now, and all relevant matters concerning safety will be discussed with the appropriate authority.