A VILLAGE has united with communities across south Cumbria in a bid to stop plans to build giant pylons across the landscape.

Campaigners in Kirkby are stepping their protest up a gear by inundating their village with flyers and posters speaking out against National Grid's plans to build 50-metre high pylons across south Cumbria.

Residents in the village are more determined than ever to make National Grid change its plans and take the cables out to sea.

Chairman of Kirkby Parish Council, Councillor Michael McPherson, believes existing plans will cause chaos to the community.

He said: "One of the main concerns is that we're not in the Lake District National Park but we're part of it because we're looking into it.

"Our opinion is that the size of the project will detract from the scenery of the national park. Also there's all the disruption and interruption that will be caused by workers here.

"There will be increased traffic as well as all the usual traffic. The infrastructure of the A595 can't cope with the amount of traffic coming through as it is. And of course people are worried that house prices will fall."

Residents are worried over the health implications of the pylons, which will pass close by Burlington CE Primary School and the community centre.

They feel their concerns are not being taken seriously and the project is already a done deal.

Mr McPherson said: "I've been to quite a lot of meetings for three years and we have explained to them that this is not the place to put them and we don't want them here, but they keep coming back with the idea.

"We could have told them three years ago what they were going to do."

Residents are determined to protect their towns and villages from the upheaval they believe is coming their way.

Mr McPherson said: "All the parish councils from all around the Duddon have joined together. We feel as though the National Grid is trying to drive a wedge between different communities but we want to show them that we're united."

Every parish council across the area says the Duddon Estuary and Furness Peninsula should be protect from the pylons.

Instead, Kirkby Parish Council is calling for the cables that will be used to connect Moorside to the Grid to be taken out to sea instead.

Mr McPherson said: "The council's view is that what National Grid should be doing is taking the cables offshore. We know it can do it because it is carrying the cables under Morecambe Bay so we would like to see them put offshore at Silecroft all the way to Roosecote."

This idea is shared by many people right across the area.

Graham Barron, secretary of the campaign group Power Without Pylons, says the additional cost of taking the cables out to sea would only be an extra seven per cent of the overall cost.

He said: "One option is to take the cables out to sea from Silecroft right down to Heysham and the total cost of that would be £200m. National Grid's overall cost is £2.8bn.

"We think it's not that much more money to finish the job.

"They could solve the entire problem just be spending an extra seven per cent. They think they've spent enough already but it's just not acceptable to have these giant pylons around the estuary."

However, National Grid believes its proposed route strikes an ideal balance between protecting the landscape and making it cost-efficient.

A spokesman said: "We have worked hard over the past six years to develop a project which balances the impact of the project on the landscape against its cost. We believe that the proposal we are consulting on at present strikes the best balance."

People across Cumbria have until January 6 to take part in the consultation and National Grid says it is eager to ensure everyone gets involved.

The spokesman added: "We would encourage people to let us have their feedback on our proposals so that we can continue to shape our project ahead of seeking government approval to build the connection.”