Mid Wales Reinforcement Project
North Shropshire, UK
|Title:||Mid Wales Reinforcement Project, North Shropshire, UK|
|Client:||SP Energy Networks|
|Services:||Landscape Architecture, Landscape Planning|
Gillespies was commissioned by SP Energy Networks to assemble and co-ordinate a multidisciplinary team of environmental consultants to prepare the supporting information for an application for DCO for a new 132kV overhead line between Oswestry and Wem.
This project was a response to the need to reinforce North Shropshire’s distribution network. Gillespies' initial role as lead consultant was to identify and comparatively appraise a number of route options, which culminated in the selection of a preferred route. Comprising a 20km wood pole overhead line extending between Oswestry and Wem substations, this was considered to give rise to the least likely environmental effects whilst being technically and economically viable. The routeing process was undertaken using SP Manweb’s approach to routeing. This approach was developed with input from our team of landscape architects and builds on the principles set out in the Holford Rules.
Gillespies subsequently worked closely with the SP Manweb’s engineers and land agents to refine and the preferred route using the output of detailed site and technical surveys. This required liaison with stakeholders, the public and landowners. Various iterations to the route were developed and assessed, before a proposed route was agreed which then progressed to formal EIA and preparation of a DCO application.
In addition to co-ordinating all environmental disciplines required for the EIA, Gillespies produced the landscape and visual assessment and planning chapters, all visualisations, graphics and GIS mapping. We subsequently authored or provided input to the various documents required for the DCO application and hearing process, as well as specialist planning and expert witness advice at the DCO hearings.
The project was robust, co-ordinated and produced within the required timeframes and is now awaiting a recommendation by the examining authority.