TV star Carol Vorderman has backed a campaign to prevent a row of huge pylons being built across an exclusive ‘millionaires’ row’ where she owns a property.
Loose Women presenter Vorderman, 51, is furious that National Grid has opted to route high-voltage power lines across Cadbury Camp Lane near Bristol.
The private road is home to several multi-million properties and the wealthy residents have now launched a ‘fighting fund’ to campaign against the pylons.
Vorderman’s agent John Miles, who also lives in the road near Clapton-in-Gordano, is head of the residents’ association and is spearheading the campaign.
He says the 150ft high pylons will be an eyesore and carry significant health risks.
Mr Miles – who also represents Noel Edmonds and Des O’Connor – wants the 400,000 volt cables underground, which National Grid says is too expensive.
He said: “They want to put these 150ft high pylons everywhere, which will spoil the countryside.
“They should just dig it underground or link it with another cable they are burying not too far away.
“I think that it is selfish of the energy company for using pylons – they were invented in 1926.
“We have made huge advances in how to transport electricity since then but it is poor for National Grid say it is limited by the cost. How can you put a value on people’s health?”
The energy giant needs to erect 37 miles of new power lines from the Hinkley C nuclear power station which is currently being constructed at Hinkley Point near Bridgwater, Somerset, to Avonmouth near Bristol.
Cadbury Camp Lane already has a 132,000 volt power line running across it which is suspended from 88ft pylons.
But residents hoped the new bigger pylons would be routed elsewhere or underground as National Grid was considering two different routes for the new cables.
However, last month it announced its chosen route would run directly over the lane.
Vorderman owns one of the 44 homes on the secluded road and spoke out against the plans when they were first announced in 2008.
She said: ”Clearly there are engineering challenges to placing cables under the sea bed but it is striking that, in the 21st century, National Grid has not put forward a proposal for bringing the cables from Hinkley C to Avonmouth using the Bristol Channel.”
John estimates the cost of burying the cables underground would work out as an extra #8 on customers’ annual bills nationwide.
He said: “I am sure that everyone in this area would agree to have a little more on their energy bills to get this line underground.
“This is not just about fighting for the residents of Cadbury Camp Lane, but everyone affected by this new power line.
“But if National Grid thinks we are just a small group of people it can ride roughshod over, it is very much mistaken.”
He added: “It may cost millions to put the 400kv line underground but that will be very cheap compared to the hassle you will get from us, legally or illegally.
“We will give you absolute hell and you will be better off looking at some alternatives.”
However, National Grid says the cost of burying the entire route underground would be £1.5billion – twice the £75million of its current proposed mechanism.
Overhead cable cost around £1.24 million per mile, whereas an underground cable costs between £9.4 and £11.2 million per mile.
National Grid’s draft route includes burying five miles of cables underground across the Mendip Hills.
Spokeswoman Jane Taylor said: “All the emissions from the electro-magnetic forces from the lines are monitored.
“There are statutory limits on that which are set by the Government and all our equipment does operate within those limits.”
“The connection we have to build is a transmission line to move very big amount of electricity across a very long distance.
“We are proposing to take down the 132,000v line from Hinkley to Seabank in Avonmouth and build a 400,000v connection.
“The connection will include five miles of underground cable through the Mendips and will result in 95 fewer pylons along the route.”
Residents have until December 18 to make comments on the draft route before formal plans are lodged with the planners.