NG North Wales Connection

Wales, UK

National Grid proposes to build a new 400 kV grid connection in Anglesey and North Gwynedd for the Horizon Nuclear Power’s proposed nuclear power station, Wylfa Newydd, on the Isle of Anglesey. The project will also connect a new offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea, create a new substation near Bryncir, and replace underground cables at the Glaslyn Estuary near Porthmadog. Consent for the project will be secured through a Development Consent Order, the application for which will be made in late 2017.

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The North Wales Connection Project connects new low carbon energy in North Wales to the electricity network. The project forms part of Anglesey’s Energy Island Programme, aiming to put Anglesey at the forefront of low energy carbon development and bring major economic, social and environmental gains for all of Anglesey and the North Wales region.

The project comprises 30km of pylon line on Anglesey and in Gwynedd and a 4km tunnel under the Menai Strait. Following an extensive design and consultation process, this was deemed the best way to keep environmental effects as low as possible whilst providing the best economic value.

As part of National Grid’s project team, Gillespies' landscape planning team provided landscape and planning advice for this Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), which required government consent through an application for a Development Consent Order. During the pre-application phase, Gillespies’ role in the routeing and design process was critical in ensuring that landscape and visual impacts were minimised. The practice has also prepared the landscape and visual chapters of the Scoping Document and the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) and created a bespoke Pylon Options Report looking at the benefits and disbenefits of different pylon types being considered. A landscape sensitivity report using LANDMAP datasets was prepared, which built on the award-winning work produced by Gillespies for Anglesey, Gwynedd and Snowdonia National Park. The team also coordinated the Environmental Strategy and Masterplan Report, which sets out the proposals for mitigating likely significant environmental effects.

Following the submission, Gillespies continued to have a major role in supporting National Grid, undertaking the landscape and visual impact assessments, producing documentation and liaising with stakeholders.