GREEN spaces in Portsmouth could be ripped up to make way for electrical cables in the latest plans – branded 'absolutely wrong' by a senior politician – to transport power from France.
Campaigners and councillors have voiced their concerns over the temporary loss of open spaces in Portsmouth after the most recent route for the Aquind interconnector was revealed.
If proposals are approved by the government, cables are likely to come on land from the English Channel near Fraser Range, travel through Milton and along Eastern Road to the A27 - before continuing to a converter station at Lovedean.
In some areas, such as the Milton allotments, tunnelling will be used to prevent disruption. However, current plans will see trenches dug along Bransbury Park to install the cables.
Founder of campaign group Keep Milton Green, Kimberly Barrett, said: 'This is very concerning because it's going to be a loss of green space for people in Milton for however long the work lasts and will potentially cause problems for residents living nearby.
'Green spaces in our city are so important, we can't afford to lose them.'
It is also likely nearby Furze Lane will close for the works, resulting in the suspension of a bus service. And Eastern Road could be reduced to one lane for 16 days.
Portsmouth City Council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson previously wrote to the government to ask that the final planning decision could be made by the local authority. 'The cables shouldn't be coming here in the first place - it's absolutely wrong,' he said.
'Closures along Eastern Road will create traffic chaos.'
An Aquind spokesman said: 'Through ongoing engagement with stakeholders, including the city council, we are working to refine the cable route with a particular focus on minimising the impacts associated with the installation of the underground cables.
'We are in the process of assessing all relevant environmental impacts so that the project can be developed to minimises these as far as practically achievable.'
It is planned a development consent order application will be made to the secretary of state at the end of this year.