Power boss says new Fareham centre will be safe

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The countryside surrounding Harting Down in the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

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PEOPLE are being reassured about the safety of a planned energy interconnector station by the director of the project.

Morris Bray from the National Grid spoke to The News yesterday about the £500m plan for Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent.

This followed calls from Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage earlier this week asking for reassurances on the new centre’s safety and on its impact on residents.

Mr Bray said the site, which will see a structure up to 22 metres high built across 10 acres, would be safe.

Mr Bray said: ‘Yes, electricity is dangerous, but it is in a place where it will be safe.

‘We will have employees working there, so of course we need it to be safe.

‘There will be a security perimeter around the building and there is already an existing security perimeter around the airfield.

‘That is just in terms of public safety. There should be no impact on the safety of anyone walking by.’

The National Grid wants to build the interconnector, which would convert electricity from Europe brought in from France via more than 100 miles of undersea cable, at the former navy airfield bordering Stubbington, a designated brownfield site.

Mr Bray said the connection, the second of its kind linking France to the UK, would provide security of electricity supply for the country, bringing energy prices down.

He also said there would be no overhead cables or electricity pylons involved, and that the company was 
working to build an aesthetically-pleasing building to shield the equipment, 
minimise noise and boost safety.

He said that eight people would be employed on the site and that the company had ‘learned lessons’ from its original link to France, called IFA, in Folkestone.

The company will hold a series of public consultation events in December and a further round in February.

A community meeting on the plans will be held by Fareham Borough Council at Stubbington Baptist Church on December 10 at 7pm.