A campaign group battling a proposed powerline is to publish its alternative plans to a project that is set to dominate the rural landscape for a century.

SP Energy Network’s controversial new 109-mile-long line in Dumfries and Galloway will stretch from Auchencrosh, South Ayrshire, to Harker near Carlisle on 50m high pylons – double the height of the existing network it is designed to replace.

Dumgal Against Pylons (DAP) opposes the plan, which it fears will become another controversial scheme like the Beauly-Denny line, which cost almost double initial estimates and locals say is a blight on the Highland landscape.

Instead, the group is proposing an innovative alternative that will make use of a sub-sea cable to alleviate the impact on the landscape.

Alan Jones, chair of the campaign group, said: “We understand Scottish Power need to enhance the transmission network to transport the excess energy to England and Wales and we support that objective. We just disagree with the form of transmission that is being proposed.”

Mr Jones stressed the importance of tourism to the region and said the proposed powerline would have a devastating effect on the industry.

“Dumfries and Galloway is wholly dependent on tourism, it has no other forms of income – the rural economy is collapsing. Tourism accounts for 11 per cent of income to Dumfries and Galloway, while in Scotland it’s only 8.5 per cent. Over 7,000 full time equivalent jobs rely on it. And we are determined that will not be affected here in Dumfries and Galloway.

“The scheme lacks innovation, it’s the low cost option, it’s not the value option that we are looking for, that will protect tourism rather than destroy it. Therefore we have proposed an alternative that reflects the need to protect the natural, cultural and historic heritage of the region.”

“What we don’t want in Dumfries and Galloway is another Beauly-Denny, which is a vastly oversized power infrastructure that people will now have to live with in that region for the next 100 years,” he added.

Principally, the group's plans will say SP Energy Network should consider a link to the English coast by a subsea cable in the west.

This would allow powerlines in the east to carry electricity at a lower voltage, meaning the pylons would need to be 26m high, rather than the proposed 50m – just 4m taller than the current pylons.

The group believes its alternative will lessen the visual impact of the scheme and will result in a better outcome for the tourism industry.

Detailed plans are due to be published by DAP in a matter of weeks which will outline the alternative proposals.

DAP is also taking the highly unusual step of commissioning independent research into the costs and benefits of the proposed plan to the region and will submit the findings to the Scottish Government.

A spokesman for SP Energy Networks said: “The existing electricity transmission network in Dumfries and Galloway is up to 80 years old in places. It needs to be upgraded, and also requires increased capacity.

“Our proposals are still at a very early stage, and we want to encourage as much engagement as possible. We extended the first consultation period by 5 weeks, and received more than 1,600 responses, including feedback from Dumgal Against Pylons.

“Given the number of responses received, we want to ensure we have fully considered all the issues raised before reaching a decision on which corridors and siting areas will be taken forward to the next stage.

“There will be several more rounds of public consultation, and we welcome all feedback on our plans. We do not envisage submitting a planning application until 2019.”