Local people invited to help develop plans

NEWS RELEASE - June 2016

Going underground: Local people invited to help develop plans for burying overhead power lines in Dorset

  • Local people invited to help develop plans to take down section of overhead electricity line and replace it with underground cable
  • National Grid and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership working together to deliver the project
  • Public events are due to be held in Martinstown and Winterbourne Abbas

Local residents are being invited to help develop plans to remove a section of overhead line in the Dorset AONB and bury the electric power lines underground.

The work is part of National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision project a major initiative to reduce the visual impact of existing high voltage power lines in protected areas across England and Wales.

In November 2014, a section of power lines near the villages of Winterbourne Abbas and Martinstown were first identified by an independent study as having a major landscape and visual impact.

National Grid has since been working with local organisations including the Dorset AONB Partnership, Dorset County Council, Historic England, Natural England and West Dorset District Council to find the best way to bury the cables.

Now after looking at a range of options and listening to the advice of local experts, potential underground routes for the cables have been developed.

Local people can come and see plans including the potential route corridors and give feedback at two events being held as follows:

Wednesday 22 June 2016, 1.30pm-7.30pm

Martinstown Village Hall, St Martinsfield, Martinstown, Dorchester DT2 9JP

Saturday 25 June 2016, 10am-4pm

Winterbourne Valley CE VA First School, Winterbourne Abbas, Dorchester DT2 9LW

Members of National Grid’s project team will be available to answer questions and discuss the project in more detail.

Tom Munro, Dorset AONB Manager said: “The project will deliver a huge benefit to this area’s nationally important landscape, and we welcome National Grid’s commitment to enhancing natural beauty. The AONB team will be represented at these events and we look forward to meeting members of the local community to talk more about it.”

Hector Pearson, National Grid VIP Project Manager said: “We’ve developed underground route corridors where we could bury the power cables enabling us to take down some existing pylons.

“In developing these possible routes we looked at a range of options and listened to advice from local experts.”

He added: “We feel our proposals will help reduce the long term visual impact our essential power lines have on the area.

“We’re keen to share these plans with the local community and to find out what they think about them.”