Press Release 30.07.2020

Planning permission granted for National Grid's Snowdonia Visual Impact Provision (VIP) Project

The Snowdonia National Park Authority and Gwynedd Council have granted National Grid’s Snowdonia Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project planning permission to build tunnel head houses on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. These buildings and their surroundings have been designed to respond to the local environment and will house the openings of a new tunnel which will carry infrastructure under the estuary, enabling the removal of the ten pylons that run across it.

Gillespies has been involved in the VIP project since 2014. Part of our commission has been to assist National Grid by providing inputs to design development, liaising with stakeholders and preparing a landscape and visual impact assessment of a project seeking to reduce the visual impact on Snowdonia National Park through the removal of existing pylons in the vicinity of the Dwyryd Estuary. The plans see the removal of approximately 3km stretch of existing overhead line, which runs from Minffordd near Porthmodog, across the Dwyryd Estuary, and continues eastwards to just beyond Cilfor. This overhead infrastructure would be replaced with cables in a tunnel deep under the estuary.

The project will greatly enhance this popular beauty spot for the local community and tourists, and is part of wider initiative by National Grid to reduce the visual impact of existing high-voltage lines in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks.

Image courtesy of National Grid / Benjamin Graham