More than 1,600 people sign petition against Aquind scheme in Portsmouth

ALMOST 1,700 determined campaigners have signed a petition urging the government to stop a controversial £1.2bn electrical interconnector project as a crucial deadline looms.

Saturday, 8th January 2022, 11:59 am
Updated Saturday, 15th January 2022, 12:35 pm

As reported, a final decision on the Aquind interconnector project is set to be made by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on January 21, having been delayed twice.

If approved the scheme would see cables run from France under the English Channel, to come ashore at Eastney. They would then be laid through Bransbury Park, the Milton Allotments, Eastern Road and Farlington Playing Fields on their way to a converter at Lovedean.

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Let's Stop Aquind protesters, Fort Cumberland car park, Eastney Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 131021-11)

Although the company has stated the scheme will ‘improve the security of Great Britain’s electricity supply’ and ‘improve energy affordability,’ city residents and politicians alike have been staunch in their opposition to plans – with major concerns for the environment and the disruption it will cause.

Now in the latest petition created by the Let’s Stop Aquind group, members are ‘demanding’ Mr Kwarteng refuses permission for the scheme and more than 1,600 people have signed their names to it.

In the petition the group said: ‘Aquind must be stopped. This project erodes our democratic rights. It is no longer simply a planning issue and goes beyond the significant impact it will have on local communities.

‘Aquind's planning application must be refused on the grounds of an unfeasible route through a densely populated island city with unique wildlife areas and green spaces ending in a national park. The negative impact on traffic, residents and wildlife is too great. The people of Portsmouth, communities along the route, Portsmouth City Council and Portsmouth’s Tory and Labour MPs unanimously oppose this project yet Aquind consistently dismisses these concerns.

‘It is also unnecessary and surplus to the Government's own projected interconnection needs; by the time it is operational (in up to 7 years' time), it risks being redundant. The massive data cable it wants to lay alongside the high voltage cables falls outside the planning remit. There has been no proper scrutiny as to whether Aquind is an appropriate company for such a significant national infrastructure project.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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