Pylon plans scrutinised
PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 March 2015
PUBLIC hearings will give people the chance to air their views on plans for a new power line through the district to a panel of Government officials.
To be held next week, the sessions have been organised by the Planning Inspectorate to find out opinions on National Grid’s plans to install the 35-mile line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth.
It is needed to transmit electricity from a planned new power station at Hinkley Point C to the national network.
The proposals are currently with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, which is examining them in great detail.
Part of this examination includes the public hearings, which will be held at Nailsea Methodist Church in Silver Street from 2-4.30pm and 7-10pm, with half an hour before each available for people wishing to register to speak.
The sessions are open to the public and will give some the chance to put their views forward to the panel.
A Planning Inspectorate spokesman said: “Those who have previously registered an interest in the project will be given priority over anyone who just turns up.
“However, if there is time and the panel feels it is going to benefit the examination then they might well accept someone else to speak as well.
“The open hearings are for interested parties and members of the public to come along and say whatever they want about the project, how it will affect them, their concerns or their favours about it.
“The panel may well ask them questions too.”
As part of the examination process, the panel will also carry out site visits as well as a range of hearings regarding specific issues, such as the environment, visual impact or highways.
The examination will then close on July 19 before a final decision is expected later this year.
If given the go-ahead, the power line, complete with pylons as high as 47m, will run over ground for much of its route, a fact which has caused huge amounts of protests from communities in its path.
The plans see it only run under the ground at the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The connection date is expected to be in October 2022, which has been put back three years from its previous 2019 target.
Full plans for the Hinkley Connection are available at infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk
Copies of the application documents are also available at libraries across North Somerset.
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