The Story So Far ...

A summary of the key stages in the campaign

Expected...6 November 2012

National Grid to announce specifics of their draft route alignment, namely location of overhead and underground sections.

Will the new powerline be laid underground near Nailsea? If not, how close or far from Nailsea homes will it be?

We know the northern of the two existing 132kV lines will be removed. Will the remaining 132kV line also be laid underground? Or will it also be moved away from Nailsea homes?

July 2012

As a result of campaign pressure, National Grid commissioned independent research by Accent into consumers’ willingness to pay for the extra cost of undergrounding.

Interestingly, 80% of consumers say they are willing to pay (WTP) to keep the countryside pylon-free. Furthermore, the research found that consumers are willing to pay up 2-3 times the actual cost!

A non-technical discussion of the report can be found on the excellent Suffolk campaign site here

Link to report
Consumer Willingness to Pay research
January 2012

As a result of campaign pressure, National Grid commissioned an independent report by the IET and Parsons Brinckerhoff into the relative costs of undersea, underground (XLPE and GIL technologies) and overhead.

It shows NG’s original data for the project was considerably overstated. NG had said UGC cost 12-17 times more than overhead. Independent report says cost is only 4-6 times more, and, likely to come down as technology develops worldwide.

(National Grid revised their costs for the project in late 2011 and are now in line with the IET report.)

January 2012

As a result of campaign pressure, National Grid have revised their outdated policy into underground cabling.

Did you know that underground powerlines do not require planning permission? If National Grid propose a new connection including sections of underground (e.g. through an AONB)) and sections of overhead elsewhere, then their planning application will only be for the overhead sections.

Link to consultation
December 2011

Local experts Chris Ambrose and Hugh Pratt contribution to costs for IET report, including a new proposal for GIL underground cabling under a new cycle-way and footpath.

Press release "Pylons a better way"

PDF link "Pratt Ambrose Nov 2011"

October 2011

As a result of campaign pressure, the government (DECC), National Grid and RIBA hold a competition to redesign the electricity pylon.

National Grid continues to work on commissioning the winning design, known as the T-pylon.

29 September 2011

National Grid announce their preferred choice of route corridor. For Nailsea, the corridor chosen is the one between Nailsea and Tickenham.

In the supporting documents, National Grid say Each 50km length of new high voltage powerline placed underground costs average domestic consumer £1 annually.

August 2010

Local experts Chris Ambrose and Hugh Pratt produce addendum to previous report into costs for Hinkley connection as a consequence of detailed discussions with National Grid’s project team and technical experts.

Pratt Ambrose August 2010.pdf

January 2010

Local Chartered Engineer Chris Ambrose and High Voltage expert Hugh Pratt produce a report into the issues, alternatives and costs for the Hinkley Connection and introduce GIL as an alternative underground cabling solution.

Pratt Ambrose January 2010.pdf

Pratt Ambrose December 2009.pdf

2 January 2010

Over 700 people participate in the Winter Walk along both possible routes surrounding Nailsea to register their opposition to NG’s plans.

Link to video
December 2009

As a result of campaign pressure for more detailed information, National Grid produces detailed documents including Strategic Optioneering Report which includes subsea options amongst the 20 possible solutions considered since notice for connection received in July 2007 from Hinkley Point nuclear generator.

Strategic Optioneering Report

27 November 2009

Over 1,000 people attend public meeting in Nailsea chaired by Liam Fox. Key statements from NG are; undersea not technically possible, DC/AC technology not available to reverse fast enough, costs too high to underground. Referring to the choice of overhead routes on either side of Nailsea, Liam Fox says "The choice between being hanged and beheaded doesn’t boil down to much choice at all"

Link to video
15 September 2009

National Grid announces their plans for new 400kV electricity connection on pylons nearly 50 metres high

Unidentifiable envelopes are delivered to homes along the route – many are thrown away unopened, assumed to be junk mail! The enclosed documents do not refer to the new pylons being nearly twice the height of the pylons on the existing 132kV lines.