Morgan Sindall appointed as main contractor for VIP project in Dorset AONB

National Grid has appointed Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure to carry out works on its Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Works to transform the landscape near Winterbourne Abbas, Martinstown and Friar Waddon will commence in spring 2019.  Approximately 9km of existing overhead electricity transmission line will be replaced with a new underground cable system, permanently removing 22 pylons.

The project was awarded planning consent by West Dorset District Council in June 2018.  It is the first of National Grid’s four current VIP projects to reach this stage.  Other proposals in the New Forest, Peak District and Snowdonia National Parks will be submitted for planning consideration later this year.

National Grid has worked with local stakeholders to develop the project since it started in 2015.  This has included the Dorset AONB Partnership, Dorset County Council, Natural England, Historic England, local parish councils and members of the community at public events.

National Grid will continue to liaise with stakeholders, local people and community organisations while works are underway.  Construction is due to finish in 2022.

Michelle Clark, VIP project manager, said: “This contract marks a major step forward in a unique opportunity to enhance views of the landscape from the Hardy Monument across the Dorset AONB.

“The project has been driven by local and national organisations dedicated to conserving some of our most precious landscapes throughout England and Wales. We welcome Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure on board and are looking forward to working with them as our delivery partner to turn the plans into a reality.”