The preferred mitigation option involves the replacement of the existing section of overhead line with underground cabling.
We have considered a range options for an underground cable route. Findings from our environmental and technical studies and detailed feedback from stakeholders, the New Forest Verderers, commoners who graze animals on Hale Purlieu and the wider local community have played a vital role in selecting a preferred route.
Subject to further development work and stakeholder consultation, the project is likely to include:
- Removal of the existing overhead line over a length of approximately 3km, including the removal of approximately eight pylons (depending on the location of cable sealing end compounds).
- Construction of two new sealing end compounds and associated replacement terminal pylons which are required to connect the new underground cables to the remaining existing overhead line.
- Laying of new underground cabling of approximately 3km (depending on the location of sealing end compounds and route of cable alignment).
At both ends of any underground route corridor, there will be a sealing end compound which is needed where the section of underground cable continues on to an overhead line. Our aim is to carefully select these locations to reduce the visual impact of this electricity infrastructure and an understanding, in principle, has been reached between the landowners and National Grid regarding the placement of two new sealing end compounds at Pound Bottom quarry (at the eastern end) and Stricklands Plantation (at the western end).
The current indicative programme is that, subject to all necessary approvals and consents, on site works will commence in summer 2019 and take approximately two and a half to three years to complete.
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Our discussions on the exact route for burying the cables are ongoing and, given the highly sensitive ecology of the area, we are working very closely with Natural England to identify a workable solution. Currently our preferred route, which has the approval in principle from the New Forest VIP project’s local stakeholder reference group, can be seen by clicking on the link below.