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Update - March 2016

Chris Ambrose gave an update report to the Parish Council Meeting of 8 March 2016

Update - Nov 15

The Parish Council's submission to the parliamentry Select Committee for Energy and Climate Change for the Low Carbon Network Infrastructure Inquiry can be found here with the supporting documentation:

The Closing submission to the Planning Inspectorate in July 2015 can be found here

Update - Nov 14

EDF Energy, which plans to build two new reactors at Hinkley Point, have announced a revised date for the provision of a grid connection of June 2022 ( Generator Unit 1) and June 2023 ( Generator Unit 2)

National Grid (NG) have therefore revised their construction programme over a period of 7 to 8 years.

Commencement: December 2015
Completion:  June 2022 / 2023

This suggests an increase in the time to carry out the works of around two years.

NG are also suggesting that the duration and timing of aspects of their construction programme will also change.

Proposed 400KV Transmission Lines and pylons from Hinkley C to Avonmouth - update Oct 14

  • National Grid (NG) submitted their application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) on 28 May 2014.
  • It was subsequently accepted by PINS on 19 June 2014.
  • PINS has 6 months in which to examine the application.
  • Followed by 3 months in which to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State (SoS)
  • SoS has 3 months in which to make a decision.
  • The next milestone is the pre examination meeting run and chaired by an Inspector to which everyone who registered their interest will be invited to attend. W&F PC have registered, as has Cllr Dr Hugh Pratt as a high voltage expert in a personal capacity. W&F PC will be attending that meeting.

For full information on the process and details as to who has registered their interest, see this link

For more information on National Infrastructure Planning provided by the Planning Inspectorate, see this link

NG's proposal is for overhead lines hanging from pylons following a route similar to the existing pylons. Detailed information is available at:

Parish Council position

We have consistently opposed the overland solution using overhead cables, probably numbering 12, running at up to 90 degrees C, strung between pylons up to 50 metres high.  We believe there is a better way.  Either subsea or by a 3 metre diameter tunnel routed alongside the M5.

We believe that the M5 solution would have less impact and environmental damage, and offer a more secure and hence reliable supply. It would also offers easier access for maintenance and the potential for 24 hour working. It offers a considerably lower level of losses to the environment especially when used to carry Gas Insulated Lines (GIL).  For more information on this technology go to this link

The NG proposal goes against the "tacit knowledge” of most engineers that the shortest distance with the least restrictions would be the first thought for the proposed route, then the search for problems and environmental and economic considerations.  With this particular development a solution that minimises the impact on the environment and maintains the social benefit of the countryside, should clearly outweigh any extra economic impacts associated with it.

NG did not approach the matter in this way. They majored on lowest first cost and their definition of Whole Life Costs (WLC).

As there is no commonly agreed components to WLC, we expect that NG probably use total cost of owning the asset over its life, say 50 years, which would include costs such as design and installation costs, operating costs, financing costs, depreciation and disposal costs.  To our knowledge they have not included environmental impact costs and social costs. These are not easily quantified but methods are available. So, without being sure about what is included, comparisons become very difficult even impossible.

 It is doubtful they have provided sufficient information other than "desk top" comparative costs for alternative systems in their application which will not enable a view to be taken by the planning inspectorate or the SoS on the merits of the better alternatives.

These aspects will form part of our representation as it seems to us to demonstrate a very restricted consultation process by NG.

We seek to have PINS recommend refusal of development consent to this application and the SoS instruct NG to carry out a comprehensive consultation exercise on both the subsea and M5 Tunnel alternatives to assist in arriving at an informed decision.

W&F PC wish to confirm that, they accept that there is a need for the transmission of power from Hinkley to Avonmouth and that it is the manner proposed that is objected to.