Councillor sticks the boot into firm planning electricity link from France after plans submitted

A LEADING councillor has said he ‘hopes someone sees common sense’ over controversial plans for a £1.1b electricity cable running from France to Portsmouth after they were submitted.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 8:26 pm
An artist's impression of Aquind's Interconnector, which would link to cables running through the city

Aquind submitted its application to the Planning Inspectorate which will now decide whether the controversial plans go-ahead.

The company hopes to install a 148 mile cable between Lovedean  and Normandy which it says could supply up to 5 per cent of the country’s energy at lower costs and which are more environmentally friendly.

If the plans are agreed then it would start delivering power in 2023.  

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It would mean that electricity can be bought and sold under the Channel – with the undersea cables coming on to land at Eastney.

But plans have come in for stinging criticism from residents and countryside charities, as well as Portsmouth City Council who have opposed the plans.

Following Aquind’s announcement it has now submitted its plans, deputy leader of the council, councillor Steve Pitt, said: ‘Why they would want to put cables running from France to underneath one of the most densely populated cities in the UK is beyond me.

‘Having met with Aquind on several occasions they have continually failed to show how these plans make any sense.

‘They are still not listening to us. As a council we have done everything by law in engaging with them.’

Asked about the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, Cllr Pitt added: 'I just desperately hope someone sees common sense and stops this.

‘We know that Aquind plan on digging up Farlington Avenue for weeks and there is similar plans at Milton Common.’

After criticism from initial proposals in January 2018 a number of public consultations were held earlier this year.

Many put forward concerns over the impact on wildlife, noise and effects on roads in the area.

Aquind released a statement on the submission of its plans, which read: ‘The Planning Inspectorate will examine Aquind's application before the Secretary of State makes a decision on whether authorisation should be given for the project.’

It added: ‘It will also make a significant contribution to the security of Great Britain’s electricity supply and achieve greater affordability by improving competition.’