National Grid brings in consultants

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 November 2010

Archant

NATIONAL Grid has called in independent consultants to analyse the option of routing a huge power line planned for North Somerset underground or under the Severn Estuary.

The energy giant is carrying out a detailed appraisal into the work it has carried out to assess the different system options for the 400,000 volt line.

If allowed to go ahead as originally planned, the 37-mile power line will be routed over ground from the site of a new power station at Hinkley C to a substation in Avonmouth, passing many towns and villages including Nailsea.

However, the idea of 150ft pylons dominating the North Somerset countryside caused uproar in the community and led to calls for the line to be put under ground or under the Severn Estuary.

National Grid has said these options would be too costly and impractical.

Now, after numerous rounds of consultations, the company is working with the Institute of Engineering and Technology to ensure that their assessment of all the options, including installing overhead pylons, has taken account of all technical, environmental, socio-economic considerations and whole-life costs.

When complete, the appraisal will be available to be reviewed by North Somerset Council and other local authorities and will be posted on the project website www.hinkleyconnection.co.uk

Sue Turner, of Save Our Valley, the campaign group representing people in Nailsea, Wraxall and Backwell, said: “Save Our Valley have not seen the terms of reference for the research so we have to hope that they have been drawn up in a manner that evaluates the options and looks at international projects to give a fair overview of the costs and viability of the undersea and underground options.”

National Grid is also continuing to analyse the large number of responses received during consultation and is expected to announce in Spring next year what option has been chosen.


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