An overview of key VIP project milestones
What’s been done so far in the Dorset AONB and an outline of our forthcoming activity:
2021 – 2022
Once the new underground electricity cables are connected, work to remove the 9km of pylons and overhead line for good will begin. It is expected to be completed in 2022.
SUMMER – AUTUMN 2020
Construction work enters a key phase of as the project teams start to install the new electricity cables.
Preparatory work including creating a temporary haul road to provide access to the main construction areas is completed. Work using specialist machinery to install the ducts which will house the new high-voltage cables began, under stringent health and safety measures imposed since the Covid-19 outbreak.
In November 2019 members of the Stakeholder Advisory Group, who together advise on National Grid’s VIP projects, visited Dorset to see first-hand the important work that is going into the removal of the pylons. The 16 specialists saw the landscape from locations including the Hardy Monument and the Jubilee Trail at Friar Waddon Edge.
Construction on the project began in summer 2019 and will take up to three years to complete (including the removal of the existing line).
West Dorset District Council’s planning committee approved our planning application on 21 June 2018, subject to conditions and the completion of a unilateral undertaking.
National Grid submitted a planning application for the scheme to West Dorset District Council on 10 January 2018.
National Grid carried out formal stakeholder consultation to show our proposals to the public and received feedback used to shape a planning application.
AUTUMN – WINTER 2016
The VIP project’s Stakeholder Advisory Group reviewed the results of the environmental and engineering surveys, the stakeholder feedback and National Grid’s preferred options. The Group recommended that the project should proceed to further development work which will inform the preparation of a planning application.
WINTER 2015 – SUMMER 2016
National Grid undertook environmental, archaeological, socio-economic and geotechnical surveys in the Dorset AONB and engaged with technical stakeholders and members of the local community.
National Grid working with local partners established a Stakeholder Reference Group. The following organisations regularly attend these technical meetings:
- Dorset AONB Partnership
- Dorset County Council
- Environment Agency
- Historic England
- Natural England
- South Dorset Ridgeway Partnership
- West Dorset District Council
WINTER 2014 – AUTUMN 2015
National Grid and independent landscape consultants undertook further technical work and considered detailed input from local stakeholders in Dorset. This enabled the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Group to prioritise the section of transmission line near Martinstown and Winterbourne Abbas in September 2015.
Three sections of overhead line in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), near the Osmington White Horse and villages of Winterbourne Abbas, Martinstown and Askerswell, were identified as having a significant landscape and visual impact.