‘You axed our trees now give something back’

National Grid work on overhead power lines in Mollison Rise, Whiteley
National Grid work on overhead power lines in Mollison Rise, Whiteley
Carillion is one of the major contractors of HS2

LETTER OF THE DAY: Council must learn a lesson from Carillion

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CALLS are being made for the National Grid to help the community it angered after chopping down woodland.

The power giant has axed dozens of trees around Mollison Rise in Whiteley to allow it to safely carry out vital repairs to overhead cables.

But the company removed more than it should have and has left locals furious because of the damage it has caused to wildlife and the environment.

The work is part of an ongoing project to refurbish pylons and powerlines from Lovedean to Fawley.

Ward councillor Sam Newman-McKie said: ‘I have asked them for a community grant.

‘The National Grid does a lot of community work, but it is mostly around the science and technology field, which is understandable given what it does.

‘But what I’d be looking for is something that could help the people of Whiteley, maybe for the Scouts or our fantastic football team Whiteley Wanderers.

‘There’s a lot of things around here that people would like that it could possibly help with.

‘It’s said all along it would replant the trees – I just want someone from the National Grid to say “sorry, here’s our offer of goodwill”.

‘It’s scored a massive own goal with the PR. It needs to repair the relationship with the community. ‘I’ve handed it over to the parish council and asked it to see what it can come up with.’

A community liaison from the National Grid went to a recent meeting of Whiteley Parish Council where he faced angry residents.

Cllr Newman-McKie added: ‘He said at the meeting that he would take the suggestion back to head office and they would look favourably at it.’

The National Grid said it will start replanting and carrying out landscaping work in September.

A spokesman said: ‘Before beginning any project we carefully consider the potential environmental effects of our work.

‘We liaise closely with the relevant local authorities to ensure any potential impact on the environment is avoided wherever possible.

‘In certain places we will aim to enhance biodiversity by providing new bird and bat boxes, planting additional woodland and hedgerows and delivering habitat management work.

‘This will benefit a wide variety of species, including the hazel dormouse, which is a European protected species.’

Anyone with questions about the work can call free on 0800 3777342 or email info@communityrelations.co.uk.