Borough councillors have hit out over proposals for a £6 million electricity line which would run through an Oswestry nature reserve.
SP Manweb wants to construct an overhead line between Oswestry substation and Legacy, near Wrexham. But at a meeting of the Oswestry Borough Council scrutiny committee meeting yesterday, councillors raised concerns over the preferred route, which would take it through Ifton Meadows nature reserve at St Martins.
SP Manweb is looking to increase the capacity of supply to ensure the security of electricity supply to around 80,000 customers between Wrexham and Oswestry.
In order to achieve this, their proposal includes the construction of a new 132kV wood pole overhead line.
They are also looking to meet the anticipated increase in growth loads and network requests – for example the potential of windfarms.
Steve Chantler, investment delivery manager told councillors the route they were looking at was the preferred option, but not necessarily the proposed route.
He said: “The current circuits are running at capacity. There is a requirement for an additional circuit. Pylons are about 26 metres high but these poles are 12 to 16 metres high so their profile is much lower.”
He said technical and environmental studies have been carried out, along with public consultation. Various organisations have been contacted such as councils, English Heritage and landowners.
Mr Chantler said four routes were considered, but they had tried to propose a preferred route which minimised impact.
But Councillor Neil Arthan said: “At Ifton Meadows, work has been done there to create a nature reserve, particularly for skylarks. The preferred route is going to take this through a beautiful spot.
“I can’t believe you are even contemplating that. This is a big concern for the people of St Martins. It is going to destroy what has been created there. Taking an electricity line over there is going to do no good for the skylarks and other animals.”
By Suzanne Roberts
22 March 2007
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