New Forest ground investigation work begins

Survey work begins in the New Forest to help develop plans which could see section of overhead power line removed and cables buried.

A short programme of ground investigation survey work will begin in the New Forest National Park on Friday 10 February, to help inform plans which could see a section of overhead line that runs across Hale Purlieu removed and replaced with power cables buried underground.

The work, which will run for a period of three weeks, is part of National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision (VIP) 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 line near the village of Hale was first identified by an independent study as having a major landscape and visual impact.  Since then National Grid has been working with local organisations to investigate whether or not it will be possible to bury the cables in this environmentally sensitive location.  This has included close liaison with organisations including the New Forest National Park Authority, the National Trust, the Verderers of the New Forest, the Forestry Commission, the Commoners and Natural England, as well as parish councils and community groups

Mott MacDonald and Structural Soils, contractors acting on National Grid’s behalf, will be carrying out the survey work which will be carried out in various locations across Hale Purlieu within an agreed corridor.  These locations have been agreed with Natural England in full consultation with the New Forest National Park Authority, the National Trust and the Verderers of the New Forest.

The survey work will be used to identify any additional environmental issues and archaeological constraints within the section of Hale Purlieu through which the route corridor preferred by project’s advisory group of technical stakeholders runs.

The results of the survey work will also inform the development of our detailed engineering designs and will be included in a planning application due to be submitted in summer 2018.  The submission of this application will be subject to full public consultation, and members of the local community will be invited to view the emerging plans and share their thoughts on the proposals.

If you would like more information then please get in touch with the VIP project team on FREEPHONE 0330 134 0051 or by email newforest.visualimpact@nationalgrid.com.