National Grid power line public meeting
PUBLISHED: 18:00 19 March 2015
DETERMINED villagers in Portbury are continuing their fight against proposals to route a new power line through their parish.
Reduced property prices and the ‘scarring’ of the local landscape are just two of the reasons residents, as well as North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox, want to ensure the 400,000 volt line complete with 35m-high pylons is directed away from the village.
National Grid has been asked to install the line to connect a planned new power station at Hinkley Point C with a substation at Avonmouth.
As part of its proposals, which are currently being considered and will be decided on by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, it has put forward two options for the northern part of the connection.
Option A would see it cut through the middle of Portbury, near to homes in Sheepway as well as the main hub of the village. Option B would see it directed further toward Portishead and along to Avonmouth.
On Tuesday, Portbury Parish Council will hold a public meeting to update residents on the project and ensure they know how they can influence which option the Planning Inspectorate chooses.
Council chairman Peter Cooke said: “They have given over the decision-making process to the Planning Inspectorate.
“They have both options but National Grid wants option A. They have given no reason for it. There is no evidence to say why they want it that way.
“It is up to us as a community to persuade the Planning Inspectorate to see it our way.
“Portbury residents are at a complete loss to understand why National Grid moved the route away from three houses near Mark in Somerset, but still wish to route through Portbury.
“We have constantly been told by National Grid that none of their decisions are influenced by costs.”
Dr Fox has been backing the villagers’ fight and in a video recently posted online, he said: “In some places we have had success, in Nailsea and Yatton, getting these cables away from the population. But here in the village of Portbury we’re facing a major scarring of our local environment.
“We expect that National Grid will exhibit some corporate social responsibility and understand the effects that this will have not only on the visual amenities, but potentially on the property values of those who live here.
“People matter, not just National Grid’s profits.”
An open public meeting will be held at the village hall at 8pm on Tuesday, when a full presentation will be given detailing the current situation and residents will also have the chance to ask questions and get advice as to how they can influence the Planning Inspectorate’s decision.
For more details about the project visit http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/south-west/hinkley-point-c-connection
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