NATIONAL Grid is launching a 12-week consultation next month over how electricity should be carried through Cumbria - including its ‘favoured’ plan to lay power lines under Morecambe Bay.

The company says it wants to ‘strike a balance’ between protecting the county’s landscape and providing the cheapest possible power.

The new electric lines will be needed to link the proposed Moorside nuclear power station in West Cumbria into the country’s main power network.

National Grid has said its preferred option is a 12-mile tunnel under Morecambe Bay, linking the Moorside cables to the network at Heysham.

But another option is to run the power lines over land, including part of South Lakeland.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said South Lakelanders should oppose the latter option.

“I would urge local residents to join in the consultation and keep pylons out of the national park,” he said.

National Grid project manager Robert Powell said: “We have to find a way of making these vital new connections in a way which treads as lightly as possible on the treasured landscapes of Cumbria and Lancashire.

“At the same time, we must be conscious of the impact of our work on people’s bills and the need to make sure that everyone in the UK has the electricity they need.