A COALITION of councils has formed to fight controversial plans for a network of pylons across the Cumbrian countryside.

The "Coordination Group" consists of 12 parish councils - including Seascale, Drigg and Carleton, Bootle, Blawith and Subberthwaite, Gosforth and Ponsonby, Kirkby - Ireleth, Muncaster, Millom town council, Millom Without, Ulpha, Waberthwaite and Whicham.

David Savage, chairman of Millom Without Parish Council, which is part of the Coordination Group, said: “This is quite unusual really, because parish councils don’t normally join together like this.

"We are usually looking out for our individual parishes. But, we have done this to put more strengthen our position because National Grid seem to think it’s ok to ignore parish councils.

“We feel that together we will be a much stronger voice to National Grid and we have sent a letter requesting that they sit down with us and discuss how they are going to engage with us."

The scheme to get power from the proposed new nuclear power plant at Moorside, near Sellafield, has proven controversial, with fears about how it would impact on the county’s countryside.

National Grid has delayed its process, saying it needs more time to discuss proposals with various people and organisations.

So far, the Coordination Group has welcomed the delays and put together a four-point agreement.

Responding to the delays, Mr Savage said: "We trust that this extra time will be spent on carefully considering the views and opinions of the people."

The group states that large scale pylons both within the setting and inside the National Park is "fundamentally unacceptable" and that undergrounding and the use of tunnels is preferred.

The group says it supports the development at Moorside, but that "interaction between the National Grid and ENW should be to the benefit of all the communities on the west coast".

A spokeswoman for National Grid said: “We have already been in contact with all the parish councils that the North West Coast Connections project touches and we remain committed to listening to their views and the views of people and other key groups as we work to shape our proposals for this vital connection.”