Portsmouth residents have their say on controversial Aquind plans

Aquind Interconnector
Aquind Interconnector

AN UNDER-fire firm that plans to install cables through Portsmouth to bring across electricity from France held a public consultation where residents had their say on the controversial plans.

Aquind gave the public a chance to leave feedback on its plans at a public event at the Jubilee Hall in Horndean yesterday evening.

The interconnector would offer a link to France so electricity can be bought and sold under the channel. Undersea cables would come on to land at Eastney which would run through to a proposed site in Lovedean – built next to the existing substation.

Dozens of concerned residents attended the consultation to find out more after Aquind moved to reduce fears after the company notoriously sent out around 1,500 letters that left residents scared they would lose their homes.

The firm has also been accused of not listening to residents views.

While last night’s consultation represented a show of openness, some residents still felt their questions were not answered.

Ray Lincoln, 67, of Horndean, said: ‘I have concerns over the amount of noise the project will bring. They told me it will comply with guidelines but that means nothing to me. There have been similar projects done like this in Europe so they should know the kind of impact it will have.

‘There are new build houses close to the power station so it is important for people who are thinking of moving to the area to know where they stand. I think it will have a detrimental affect on property prices and many people will not buy in the area now.

‘When you drive a massive cable through one of the most densely populated areas in the south of England there will inevitably be massive disruption – including for the emergency services.’

Paul and Susan Marshall, of Horndean, said: ‘It seems like a lot of investment for a small return of energy. They would be better off investing in solar energy. Travelling will be a nightmare and having the new power station – which is 26 metres high – will be an eyesore.’

Chris and Lucia Durbin, of Horndean, agreed there would be an impact on the roads but said: ‘It’s a very good idea and will provide a lot of energy for the country. The consultation has been very useful and professionally presented.’

A spokesperson for Aquind said: ‘It’s been a good turnout.​​​​​​​ We plan on taking people’s views into account to help us shape what we do.’