ENGINEERS from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) begin work this month to underground overhead distribution power lines in Callander.

The £233,500 investment will see 2.2km of overhead power lines buried underground in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

Engineers will start work in Callander today (Tuesday, April 18) with the project expected to complete in July.

Works comprise of the installation of 2.2km of cable using an innovative ploughing method which will accelerate SSEN’s installation programme and minimise disturbance to the existing ground.

SSEN will also install cable underneath the river bed and Invertrossachs road using a directional drill, again meaning the existing river bed and road remain undisturbed.

SSEN has planned this project in a way as to minimise disruption to the local area.

Its teams are issuing letters to local residents and will provide signage to keep customers informed of the work its engineers are undertaking in the area.

This investment in the area forms part of a £15m project to underground 90km of overhead lines in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks and National Scenic Areas.

Graeme Stewart, head of region at SSEN, said: "Overhead power lines provide a secure and cost-effective way of distributing electricity to our communities, but we also understand people feel they can have a negative impact on the natural landscape.

"Following an application from residents of Callander, we are delighted to have approved the project to underground 2.2km of overhead power lines in the area.

"SSEN’s undergrounding programme gives our customers the opportunity to help us decide which short sections of the electricity network in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Scenic Areas they feel should be replaced by underground cables to help enhance the visual appeal of the natural environment.

"By understanding what matters most to our customers, means we can invest in the right areas where we know it will make a difference."

Richard Johnson, chair of Callander Community Council, added: "Callander Community Council was very pleased to hear of the proposed work to the power lines.

"This will transform one of the most spectacular views of the rivers and mountains around Callander."

To nominate an area for undergrounding to be assessed by SSEN and local authority planners, customers should visit where they will be asked to provide details of the location including a grid reference, a photograph, a reason why they think the line should be undergrounded and indicate who else in their local community supports the proposal.