High voltage power lines could be moved underground and steps could be taken to reduce light pollution.

To protect and restore the natural world, South Oxfordshire District Council has agreed to take action to try and minimise light pollution in the district, and to work with partners to see if some high voltage power lines could be hidden from view and moved underground.

Councillor Peter Dragonetti proposed a motion calling for high voltage power lines to be installed underground as part of the Local Plan 2035. It also calls for the power lines dissecting Didcot’s Ladygrove Estate to be buried underground by 2050.

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Mr Dragonetti said: "Council recognises the importance of a high-quality, beautiful natural environment for current and future residents of our rural District, and the negative impact that high voltage power lines can have on visual amenity. Council also acknowledges the importance of landscape beauty to the setting of the historic city of Oxford."

Councillor Jo Robb proposed a motion that noted the harmful impacts of light pollution on human health and sleep, biodiversity and carbon emissions. It highlighted the need to provide infrastructure that ensures dark skies are possible and limits light pollution.

Ms Robb said: "Light pollution is not only damaging our physical and mental health, it is also harming plants, insects and nocturnal animals and is eroding the most primal of connections."

The new idea to put power lines underground are part of the councils plans to protect and restore the natural world and take action on the climate emergency. These motions also fit with the Corporate Plan priority that outlines how the council will provide homes and infrastructure that meet people’s needs by ensuring: “spatial planning embeds public health, well-being and sustainability.”

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