£18 million Shropshire power lines to be buried to protect landscape
Part of an £18 million power line to improve supplies for thousands of homes in Shropshire is set to run underground, officials have today revealed.
The move will ensure the landscape close to the start of Scottish Power Energy Networks' line in Oswestry will be protected, and will also allay the fears of landowners and residents.
The latest development has been revealed as plans for the power line running across north Shropshire continue to gather pace.
The start location of the line at Round Wood, near Oswestry, has been confirmed. Details of an alternative route near the Woodhouse estate to the east of Oswestry and an update on the path of the line in the Hordley area have also been made public.
The new power line will improve the electricity supply for homes and businesses across the north of the county once it is completed.
A planning application is due to be submitted next year. Work is then due to start by 2020 with a view to the line being fully operational within a year.
SP Energy Networks wants to develop a new wooden pole overhead line between Oswestry and Wem, which it says will support local growth and future development in the region.
The upgrade will benefit Oswestry, Wem and Whitchurch as well as surrounding villages.
Discussions have been taking place with landowners, residents and others with an interest in land affected by the proposed route.
The firm has confirmed it plans to use underground cables between Round Wood and Oswestry substation.
The initial design of Wem substation has also been developed.
A statutory consultation on the scheme will take pace in the autumn.
It will allow those affected to comment on more detailed plans for the new line, including wood pole locations.
Mark Sobczak, head of 132kV Programmes at SP Energy Networks, said: “We have been working hard on the project since our last update, and we’ve looked in further detail at each end of the proposed overhead line.
"Work continues to progress well and this autumn we’ll hold a statutory consultation in recognition that the proposals have reached a detailed stage.
“We will provide people living near the proposed route with information on our work including where we’re proposing to place the wooden poles and the areas we need for construction.
“We will also consult specialist bodies responsible for the environment, heritage, ecology and other important considerations.
“All of this work will help us to finalise our plans before we submit a formal planning application in 2018.”
A lack of power in Whitchurch has been blamed for job losses and relocation of businesses such as Tension Control Bolts Ltd.
With hundreds of houses on the horizon in the affected towns and villages, civic leaders have previously welcomed the scheme to boost power in the region.