Portsmouth politicians refuse to withdraw objection to Aquind interconnector plans

CITY politicians have refused to bow down to 'nonsensical' plans for an electrical interconnector that could run through Portsmouth - saying the company behind it should 'do one.'

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 4:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 9:23 pm
An artist's impression of the Aquind interconnector

Councillors were given the choice to officially withdraw their objection to the Aquind interconnector scheme that seeks to bring electricity from France to Lovedean, passing through the city on the way.

But at a cabinet meeting today they unanimously agreed to stand by their rejection of the plans, despite the fact the final decision will be made by a government planning inspector.

Speaking at cabinet the council leader, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: 'It seems bizarre you're going to bring an electricity cable over from France to the south of the most densely populated city outside London.'

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It is thought a 12ft wide space will be needed to accommodate the cables, including the size of the cables and an 8ft trench between them.

Deputy leader, Cllr Steve Pitt, criticised how the company Aquind had approached the scheme.

'I have had the misfortune of being at a very long series of meetings on this since it first reared its ugly head,' he said. 'It's nonsensical.

'The way they have approached this from putting letters thought the doors of residents who were scared they were going to have their homes bought as compulsory purchase orders.

'This is a company who wants to do to, not to do with - and the sooner they do one the better.'

Eastney and Craneswater representative, Cllr Matthew Winnington, had fears about how it would affect his ward. He said: 'This will disrupt my residents and for what? Because for some reason they want to get to Lovedean as quickly as possible.

'It's not even using the closest bit of France to the UK. It could come up near Chichester - that would be nearer.'

A spokesman for Aquind said: 'Following our consultation we have been working with a number of stakeholders, including Portsmouth City Council and other local authorities, to refine our proposals prior to submitting our development consent order application.

'Aquind welcomes continued engagement with all stakeholders following the submission of the application.'