Waverley Abbey School in Tilford has been given an ultimatum by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to sign a legal agreement allowing the removal of two high-voltage electricity pylons from school grounds by the end of April – or else have to live with them for good.
More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling on the school to take up SSE’s offer to have the two “unsightly” pylons removed and the high-voltage overhead cables buried free of charge.
But after six years of negotiations, a medley of the Diocese of Guildford, Surrey County Council and the Department of Education are yet to sign off the works.
There is, however, still some hope, says Canon Alex Tear, diocesan director of education.
He said: “This school site is the joint responsibility of Surrey County Council and The Good Shepherd Trust who are working closely with the legal advisors of SSE to put in place an agreement to allow the work on the pylons removal to be undertaken. SSE is aware of these developments.
“Given the nature of the work, these agreements also require the approval of the Department of Education and this has now been requested.
“There has been a delay in putting in place the agreement which we now understand has been resolved, so we hope the Department of Education can now approve these arrangements so work can begin to remove the pylons in the coming months.
“We understand the frustration these delays have caused and hope the work can be completed as soon as possible.”
It comes after SSE warned the school in January that the legal paperwork allowing it to undertake the work must be signed by the end of April, else it would withdraw its offer to remove pylons from the school site and instead limit the long-delayed work to a neighbouring site only.
The work had originally been scheduled to take place last summer, but was again delayed because of the lack of a legal agreement – much to the frustration of locals.