Plan for 37 mile power line through Mendips moves forward
PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 February 2019
Copyright:Patrick J Hanrahan
Plans to build a 37-mile power line through the Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty on the Mendips has moved forward.
National Grid has awarded contracts worth £300million to three construction firms 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 local countryside were among the concerns expressed by residents and North Somerset MP Liam Fox.
However, National Grid bosses says its plan will reduce ‘the overall effect on communities and the landscape’ by moving sections of the line underground.
The majority of the line will consist of overground pylons however, homes and nature reserves have been avoided and the section which travels through the Mendip Hills will run underground.
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.
“We, and our newly-appointed contractors, will do everything we can to minimise impacts wherever possible.”
The National Grid has also agreed to remove 67km of overhead line on the Mendips make way for construction.
The contract to install the underground line through the Mendips was awarded to Balfour Beatty.
Construction will begin on the A38 in March.
A lot of the line will run through North Somerset. The pylons will be close to Nailsea, Clapton-in-Gordano, Easton-in-Gordano, Portbury and Pill.
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