Going underground in the Cotswolds
Community invited to hear latest on landscape transformation project
  • Removal of around 7 kilometres of overhead electricity line and approximately 18 pylons could transform skyline to the east of Cheltenham and onto the Cotswold Plateau
  • Local community invited to attend series of drop-in events to hear updates and find out more detail about the project and its progress
  • National Grid continuing to develop proposals with the Cotswolds National Landscape team and local experts

Local people in Winchcombe, the Charlton Kings area of Cheltenham and surrounding villages are invited to come along to meet the team and hear an update on the exciting plans to remove around 7 kilometres of overhead electricity line and approximately 18 pylons in the Cotswolds National Landscape.

If approved, the project will see the pylons replaced with cables buried underground to significantly enhance the landscape and views as part of National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project*, a national programme to reduce the visual impact of existing high voltage power lines in protected areas across England and Wales.

A number of public information 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, as well as speak to members of the team and share their feedback.

Those attending will be able to find out more about the emerging preferred underground cable route and construction access plans, as well as receive an overview on the project’s wider progress and survey work – including archaeological, geological and ecological surveys – that will inform the planning application which is due to be submitted next year.

The events will take place as follows:

  • Stanton Hall, Church St, Charlton Kings, GL53 8AR: Thursday 6 July 2023, 15:00-19:30
  • Winchcombe Museum, High St, Winchcombe, GL54 5LJ: Saturday 8 July 2023, 10:00-14:00
  • Whittington Village Hall, Whittington, GL54 4HD: Thursday 13 July 2023, 15:00-19:30

There will also be a pop-up event on Cleeve Hill Common (near the radio mast car park), Southam, GL52 3NF with the kind permission from the Cleeve Common Trust on Saturday 1 July 2023 between 10:00-14:00.

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.”

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.

People can find out more via the project’s website (nationalgrid.com/cotswoldsvip) which includes information on the plans as well as a virtual 360° tour, where visitors can see what the landscape looks like now and how it could look once pylons are removed.

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.”

To find out more about the Cotswolds VIP project, get in touch via: