City council clashes with company over groundwork plans for £1.2bn interconnector

CITY bosses have denied agreeing plans to carry out groundworks across Portsmouth for a new £1.2bn cross-Channel power link.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 10:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 2:30 pm
How the Aquind interconnector would look

Portsmouth City Council said it had struck no deal with Aquind for any ground investigations for its Normandy to Lovedean interconnector – despite the firm allegedly confirming it will go ahead.

The row comes after the company revealed its desire to build a cable under the sea, linking the British and French power grids.

In a statement issued yesterday, a spokesperson for Portsmouth City Council (PCC) said: ‘Aquind has today issued information saying it will be carrying out ground investigations across the city of Portsmouth to facilitate a sub-sea power cable from France.

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‘Portsmouth City Council has not agreed any ground testing to be carried out within the city.’

The disparity comes less than a month after pressure group campaigners, living near to Aquind’s proposed site for a new UK substation, hit out at a trio of public exhibitions for the scheme.

In February, members of Action to Protect the Living Environment Around Lovedean/Denmead (APLEAL) branded designs of the outlined build ‘misleading’ – claiming Aquind gave them ‘no accurate visuals’ of what its proposed 22m-high converter station in Lovedean would look like.

However yesterday an Aquind spokesperson said it was not at odds with PCC – but was ‘fully committed’ to working with it.

They said: ‘Following public consultation events in January, 2018, Aquind recently issued an update to stakeholders which included planned ground investigation works at a number of locations – including within Portsmouth.

‘These will assist in refining the proposed underground cable route for Aquind Interconnector.

‘These ground investigation works have not yet commenced.

‘Aquind remains fully committed to working constructively with all relevant local authorities on the proposals – including Portsmouth City Council – and looks forward to continuing to engage with the council on its plans.’