The Cotswold skyline is being transformed.

National Grid has announced it is working on plans to remove around 7km of overhead electricity lines and 18 pylons.

If approved, the project will see the pylons replaced with cables buried underground to significantly enhance the landscape and views as part of the National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision project.

Now, people in Winchcombe, the Charlton Kings area of Cheltenham and surrounding villages are being invited to find out more about the development.

Robbie Griggs, National Grid Lead Project Manager said: “Since we announced the project in the Cotswolds National Landscape last summer, we’ve made a lot of progress carefully developing our detailed plans for the proposed route corridor for the underground cables, taking on board advice from a variety of local experts and organisations as well as members of the local community. 

“By removing the pylons in this stunning location, we will be transforming the skyline right across the beautiful landscape of the Cotswold Plateau. We’re really looking forward to sharing updates about the more detailed aspects of our proposals with members of the local community and hearing what they think. We encourage everyone to come along to one of our drop-in events in July.”

Cotswold Journal: Before and afterBefore and after (Image: National Grid)

National Grid’s plans are being developed and refined with input from local experts and community representatives from organisations including the Cotswolds National Landscape, Cleeve Common Trust, Historic England, Natural England, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the local authorities along the proposed route.

The section that has been earmarked for removal runs from Postlip Mill in the north, runs through largely agricultural land, avoiding the ancient woodland and steep slopes of West Down, and ending up near Dowdeswell Wood in the south.

Andy Parsons, chief executive of Cotswolds National Landscape, said: “The Cotswolds National Landscape is the largest of all AONBs in England and Wales and spans 790 square miles. The last few years have been a reminder that our protected landscapes, our National Parks, and our AONBs are really important for the health and wellbeing of our nation.

“The Cotswolds also has more pylons than any other protected landscape in England and Wales. That’s why we’re really pleased to be partnering with National Grid on this project which will reinvigorate the natural beauty of the area.”

Several drop-in events are taking place during July, where visitors will be able to see the progress that has been made on the plans over the last 12 months.

Drop-in event dates

  • Cleeve Hill Common (near the radio mast car park), Southam, GL52 3NF - Saturday July 1, 10am-2pm
  • Stanton Hall, Church St, Charlton Kings, GL53 8AR - Thursday July 6, 3pm-7.30pm
  • Winchcombe Museum, High St, Winchcombe, GL54 5LJ - Saturday July 8, 10am-2pm
  • Whittington Village Hall, Whittington, GL54 4HD - Thursday July 13, 3pm-7.30pm