Press Release 01.04.2020

£18 million North Shropshire Reinforcement Project gets consent

Plans to develop a new 132kV wood pole overhead line between Oswestry and Wem in North Shropshire have been approved by the Planning Inspectorate.

Following four years of detailed design and consultation with stakeholders, the local community and landowners, Gillespies has undertaken detailed routeing, EIA and a DCO Development Consent Order (DCO) application for SP Energy Networks’ Reinforcement to the North Shropshire Electricity Distribution Network. The application is for the installation of a 132kV electric line between Oswestry and Wem substations, which comprises of a combination of approximately 1.2km of underground cable and 21.3km of overhead conductor supported by Trident wood poles. The line will boost capacity of the electricity network in North Shropshire to support development on land allocated for new jobs and homes in Oswestry, Whitchurch and Wem.

In identifying routes for the multiple connections, Gillespies applied SP Manweb’s approach to routeing, which aims is to ensure that new electricity lines have minimal effect on the environment and the people within it.

In his report to the examining authority Paul Hudson said there was an urgent need to substantially increase the capacity of the electricity network in North Shropshire if the social and economic plans were to be achieved.

"The applicant has carried out a systematic approach to the consideration of alternative routes and the choice of trident wood poles as the most appropriate for the physical circumstances of this part of north Shropshire," said Mr Hudson in his report.

"The construction arrangements have been designed to cause minimum disruption to the rural area in which the proposed development would take place.

"There would be no significant ecological effects at a local, regional or national scale and none are predicted during the construction, operation or maintenance of the proposed development.

"In coming to an overall conclusion about the case for development consent, in my view, this is a thorough and well-prepared application which perhaps explains why it has attracted very few representations.

"It is fully compliant with the policy requirements of the NPSs, and I conclude there is a very clear justification in favour of granting development consent."