SP Mid Wales Connections Project

Wales, UK

The SP Mid Wales Connections Project was a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) and therefore subject to the planning process set out in the Planning Act 2008. It comprised the development of eight new 132kV overhead line connections from proposed new wind farms in Mid Wales to a new National Grid substation at Cefn Coch in the rural uplands of Powys.

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Gillespies was part of a multi-disciplinary team in the initial routeing of these projects and, on the basis of this work, were then appointed by SP Manweb to undertake the detailed routeing, and EIA and DCO application process.

In identifying routes for the multiple connections, we 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. Throughout the process, consultation with landowners, local communities and specialist bodies (such as heritage and environment groups) sought feedback on the work and the options. This feedback was used to check the decisions made during the routeing process and provide information to develop a detailed design.

In 2015, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) refused to grant permission for a number of the wind farms and work on the project was suspended.