37-mile power line through Portishead and Nailsea moves forward

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 February 2019

Parish Wharf Nature Reserve.

Parish Wharf Nature Reserve.

Archant

Plans for a 37-mile power line to be built through Portishead and Nailsea have moved a step forward with multi-million-pound contracts handed to firms.

National Grid has awarded contracts worth £300million to three companies who will carry out the work on the Hinkley Point C Connection power line.

Balfour Beatty, J Murphy and Sons and Seimens will construct the 400,000-volt overhead line between Avonmouth and Hinkley Power Station near Bridgwater.

Years of battles against the pylons ended in 2016 when Government officials gave the project the green light. The debate raged for more than five years after the plan was finalised in 2011.

Reduced property prices and the effect on the countryside were among the concerns expressed by residents and North Somerset MP Liam Fox.

However, National Grid bosses say their plan will reduce ‘the overall effect on communities and the landscape’ by avoiding homes and nature reserves across North Somerset.

A power line which currently crosses Tickenham Ridge will be removed to make way for the new line.

This will be diverted away from Priors Wood at Portbury before crossing the M5 and the A369.

The line is set to run underground through Portbury Warf Nature Reserve.Sue Adam, Hinkley Connection project director, said: “The awarding of these contracts marks a major step forward on this vital connection project as we gear up to start construction work in earnest.

“People will see construction work going on at different times and in different places over the next seven years.

“Our newly-appointed contractors will do everything they can to minimise the impact wherever possible.”

Contractor J Murphy and Sons will construct the power line between Nailsea and Portishead, which are set to run underground.

A start date for construction has yet to be announced.

A lot of the line will run through the Mendip Hills, where construction will begin in March.

The National Grid will meet with parish councils and residents to discuss each phase of construction.

For an interactive map, visit www.hinkleyconnection.co.uk

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