Public invited to have their say at consultation events

NEWS RELEASE - July 2017

Local people invited to have their say on plans for overhead power lines in Dorset AONB to be buried 

  • Local community invited to share their views on plans to remove 8km of overhead electricity line and replace it with underground cable
  • National Grid developing proposals with Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership and others
  • Public consultation events being held in Martinstown and Winterbourne Abbas on 20 and 22 July

Local residents are being invited to have their say on plans to remove an 8km section of overhead transmission line in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and bury the electric power lines underground.

The scheme aims to enhance the landscape near the villages of Martinstown and Winterbourne Abbas, as part of National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision project* to reduce the visual impact of existing high voltage power lines in protected areas across England and Wales.

Over the past two years National Grid has explored a range of potential underground routes for the cables, and plans have been refined with the advice of local experts and initial feedback from the local community in June 2016.

National Grid has continued to work closely with local organisations including the Dorset AONB Partnership, Dorset County Council, West Dorset District Council, Historic England and Natural England to identify any potential environmental, archaeological and land issues associated with the proposed route corridor.

Now that more detailed proposals have now been developed, local people have another opportunity to share their views and hear more about how the construction will be managed before a detailed planning application is submitted to West Dorset District Council before the end of the year.

The two drop-in events are being held as follows:

Thursday 20 July 2017, 2.00pm-7.00pm  

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

 Saturday 22 July 2017, 10.00am-4.00pm

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

At these events further information will be available on the proposed timings and phases of the project, and measures that will be put in place to minimise any potential disruption for the local community during construction.

It will also be an opportunity to see the updated plans, including images of what the landscape will look like when the overhead line is removed and the land is restored back to working farmland.

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

Hector Pearson, National Grid VIP Project Manager said: “We are keen to share details with the local community of how we intend to manage the construction process throughout this major engineering project to keep any impact to a minimum.

“As we have advanced our plans for the proposed underground route corridor, we have taken on board advice from a variety of local experts and organisations.  We’re now looking forward to sharing the more detailed aspects of our proposals with members of the local community and hearing what they think.”