A CONSULTATION over controversial plans to build 50m high pylons across Cumbria has been postponed.

National Grid bosses have delayed the process, saying they need more time to discuss their plans with individuals and organisations across the area.

It has also been revealed that National Grid is "looking closely" at the possibility of taking cables underground within the Lake District National Park.

A statement from National Grid said: "We have decided to delay the next stage of consultation on our project as it is crucial that these discussions continue in order for us to develop a project which finds the right balance between all the obligations we must consider. We also need to be confident that the project we eventually consult on will gain consent.

"We are looking closely at ways of minimising the impact of our proposals and this will include considering placing sections of the connection underground within the Lake District National Park."

Once the proposals have been outlined, National Grid will announce a new date for the consultation where members of the public will be able to have their say on the plans.

People across the area have been fighting against the plans since National Grid first announced its preferred route, but campaigners hope this delay could signal a change of heart.

Douglas Chalmers, chief executive of Friends of the Lake District, said: “Our hope is that the strength of public feeling both locally and nationally against the giant pylons and the potential damage to the national park and its setting has forced National Grid to rethink its plans and consider placing all of the connections underground.

“This would be a solution whereby everybody wins; National Grid can ensure our country’s future energy supplies, but not at the expense of the national park, its setting and communities.”

Campaigner Stewart Bradshaw, who lives near Millom, is calling for National Grid to consider making some vital changes to its plans.

He said: "If they went under the Duddon estuary and underground along the west coast, I think the opposition would just evaporate.

"A lot of people support the idea of Moorside but not drawing an iron curtain around the National Park and Duddon estuary."

What would you like National Grid to do? More than a fifth of Cumbrians surveyed opted for pylons to be used.

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