Protesters voice opposition to controversial Aquind interconnector plans with symbolic line of defiance stretching a mile in Milton

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PROTESTERS voiced their opposition to a controversial £1.2bn project that would bring power from the continent to Britain via undersea cables.

Scores of people opposed to the project spread a symbolic line of opposition stretching the distance of Milton Common to vent their feelings to the proposals that have even been branded as ‘sinister’ by Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt.

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Aquind protester Steve KingettAquind protester Steve Kingett
Aquind protester Steve Kingett

It is a grievance in a long line of issues since the plans were first raised about four years ago.

If approved the Aquind interconnector would bring power from the continent to Britain via undersea cables, coming ashore at Eastney, Portsmouth and running north to Lovedean.

But protesters, who stood from the Thatched House to the People' s Memorial on Milton Common, said the time has come to call time on the besieged project.

Paula Savage, organiser of Let' s Stop Aquind said: ‘We had a great turnout. It’s been really exciting to see so many people.

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Organiser of Let's Stop Aquind Paula SavageOrganiser of Let's Stop Aquind Paula Savage
Organiser of Let's Stop Aquind Paula Savage

‘We hope to raise awareness and stop this project. We have over 3,000 members and an influx of over 800 people recently which shows the strength of feeling.’

Fellow organiser Viola Langley said: ‘We at Let's Stop Aquind care deeply about our city and beyond. We call upon the government to put a stop to this destructive project.

‘We residents demand our objections be heard.’

Protestor Sarah Johnson, 46, has an allotment in Locksway Road. She said: ‘It will cause disruption to the whole city and the allotments and wildlife.’

Nigel Gordon, 63, of Milton, said: ‘Why would you want to do it here in such an exquisite place. It is ridiculous. There is a whiff of corruption with it.’

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Steve Kingett, 56, of Southsea, said: ‘It will be hell on earth. It’s got to stop. It’s beautiful here, you can’t cut it up.’

Matthew Winnington, the recently deposed city councillor, said: ‘The government will make a decision on this next month, they must refuse permission to stop this causing massive disruption to Eastney and the rest of the eastern side of Portsmouth.

‘It will hit Waterlooville so hard too. It is a terrible project. They could have done it 90 miles to the east of Portsmouth instead of doing it in the most densely populated place outside of London.’

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP, said: ‘I’ve long argued that Aquind would cause untold damage and disruption with no clear benefits to our local area.

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‘That’s why I joined local activists today in showing my opposition again to this development, which to must be stopped.

‘Beneath the cosy relationships Conservative ministers have with their billionaire donors and others are choices that affect the day-to-day lives of people in Portsmouth.

‘Our city deserves total transparency from this government and a real say in the decisions about the plans and I will continue to do all I can in parliament to ensure Ministers listen to our demands and reject these proposals.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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