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Wirral HVDC Cable Route Announced

Published: 14th June 2012 16:02

The route of a new 33km high voltage electricity cable across the Wirral peninsula has been announced today (14 June) by National Grid and SP Transmission.

The cable is part of the Western Link, a project to build one of the world's longest undersea power cables to bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in England and Wales.

Wirral HVDC Cable Route - Map

Over the next decade, the country must make the major investment needed to deliver energy security. This project is just one step towards meeting the challenge to modernise and extend the country's existing energy infrastructure to ensure energy security in years to come and help meet the UK's carbon reduction targets.

The cable will come ashore at Leasowe in the north, continuing underground to the east of Heswall and Neston before turning south-west to run between Burton and Puddington towards National Grid's site at Deeside, where it will be connected into the existing transmission system.

Consultation with key stakeholders including local authorities, statutory consultees such as Natural England and the Environment Agency, MPs and landowners has been under way for some time.

In February 2011 public exhibitions were held in Moreton and Neston to explain the plans and obtain feedback from the local community.

Cable project manager Peter Roper said: "The most important part of our consultation is the feedback we receive. This has helped us develop our plans and make changes in a number of important areas.

"The feedback received, together with information from further technical and environmental investigations we have undertaken, has enabled us to refine the route to the one published today."

The cable will be laid mainly in agricultural fields, avoiding environmental designations such as Special Protection Areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Where sensitive areas of woodland cannot be avoided special techniques will be used to drill underneath and so avoid any impact.


Known archaeological sites were identified along the length of the cable route from a number of sources,
including the Historic Environment Record, and through feedback from local consultation.

Surveys have been carried out near Puddington to establish more detail on the archaeological site and the cable has been routed in this area to avoid significantly affecting the archaeology. Before work begins in the area a method of working will be developed to ensure that there is no impact on the archaeological site. The project management team will follow guidance from the Institute for Archaeologists and work in close consultation with Cheshire West and Chester Council.

"Our priority is to minimise disruption to the communities where we are constructing this cable and to the land through which it passes," Peter said. "Before we start construction we will work closely with the local authorities to ensure that effects on traffic are minimised and noise and dust controlled. We will also hold a series of public information events to let local people know what is planned in their area."

National Grid and SP Transmission have appointed Siemens/Prysmian as the main contractor for the project, and the team is currently developing a detailed construction programme. Some initial work to prepare for the main construction of the cable is likely to begin later in 2012. Main construction is planned to start early in 2013 and be complete by the end of 2015.

Western Link has a dedicated community relations team who can be contacted by calling 0800 021 7878 or by emailing westernlink@communityrelations.co.uk. A more detailed map can be viewed on the website www.westernhvdclink.co.uk.

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At 17:30 on 14th June 2012, , commented:
Surely the whole project is dependent on planning permission for the converter station at Connah's Quay ? As I read it planning permission has thus far been rejected:

See extract below from their FAQ:

"What is happening with your application for a converter station at Connah's Quay?

The planning application for a converter station at Connah’s Quay was refused in early 2012.

National Grid and Scottish Power are considering our response to the decision to refuse consent for the outline planning application for the Connah’s Quay site and we are carrying out further work to help us decide on the way forward. "

I don't really understand the technology with power transmission of this scale but wonder if there is any danger to local residents immediately alongside the cable route from electromagnetism or the sheer voltage involved here ? I assume not ?
It's only me
At 10:30 on 15th June 2012, It's only me commented:
Having come underwater all the way from Scotland why land the cable at Leasowe and route it underground through the Wirral with all the disruption that will bring? Surely the option is there to continue underwater direct to the Conners Quay converter!
At 14:41 on 23rd June 2012, cheshire_guy commented:
I think the reason stated is due to the estuary being listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Meaning the excavation of the trench needed to lay the cable would be prohibited?

However there could be several other reason, such as difficulty in navigating a cable laying ship down the winding estuary

cost of laying underwater cable, it could be cheaper to bury on land rather than in the river.

It could also be the case that there are concerns that the cable would be disturbed by dredging which I think still happens on a regular basis to allow the passage of the wing barges from Broughton.

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