Fears raised as first stop for Aquind route confirmed as Eastney car park

COUNCILLORS have slammed a 'poor' project that will bring electricity from France to the UK as the route's first stop in Portsmouth has now been confirmed.

By Fiona Callingham
Friday, 14th February 2020, 2:49 pm
Aquind Interconnector
Aquind Interconnector

If approved by government the controversial Aquind interconnector scheme will come on to the land at Eastney, starting at the car park in Fort Cumberland Road - where work will last 66 weeks.

The route of the cables, which require two 0.7 metre trenches, is then likely to go through Bransbury Park in Milton, the Milton Allotments, Milton Common, Eastern Road, Langstone Harbour and then Farlington Playing Fields.

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Ward representative Councillor Matthew Winnington said: 'This will have no benefit to the community, neither in Eastney or the whole of Portsmouth.

'They have said it won't be 66 weeks continuously but that is still a long time.

'It's taking away a car park but will cause problems when roads are dug up. It will cause a huge disruption especially as Fort Cumberland Road is the only access in for some. The whole thing is a pretty poor project.'

Despite Portsmouth City Council objections the scheme was accepted for examination for a government planning inspector last year, who will decide whether it goes ahead. There is no date set for when the decision will be made.

Cllr Luke Stubbs added: 'The level of disruption will be serious and this is something the planning inspector needs to consider.'

However, an Aquind spokeswoman said: 'In Eastney, the landfall location has been confirmed as the car park at Fort Cumberland Road, a decision that was arrived at following an extensive optioneering process and analysis of the feedback received at the January 2018 and February – April 2019 consultations.'

An application for a 134-home development at nearby Fraser Range added to councillors’ concerns.

The spokeswoman added: 'We are aware of the planning application regarding Fraser Range and have taken it into account in our cumulative assessment.

'Works are proposed to take place in the car park for up to 66 weeks (not continuous), options are being explored to keep parts of the car park operational during this time and discussions are ongoing with the relevant authorities.'