NuGen Properties

Balfour cleared to start Devizes pylon removals

North Wessex Downs

Wiltshire Council has given National Grid planning approval to remove overhead high voltage electricity line in the North Wessex Downs area of outstanding natural beauty, (AONB) to the north of Devizes, and replace it with underground cables.

Archaeological work which will start in December 2023 and construction will begin in January 2024.

Balfour Beatty, working with its new Korean partnerTaihan Cable, will remove 4.6km of overhead electricity line and 13 pylons. Construction and pylon removal is due to be complete by the end of 2026.

The project is part of National Grid’s visual impact provision (VIP) project to reduce the visual impact of existing high voltage lines in protected areas across England and Wales. The overhead line due to be removed runs east from the west of the Roundway Hill and Covet, just north of Roundway to a field just north of the Kennet & Avon Canal close to the Bridge Inn on Horton Road.

The planning consent for the project’s infrastructure, which was awarded earlier this year, includes two sealing end compounds at either end of the line being removed, where the new underground cables come back up to join and connect with the overhead line.

National Grid senior project manager Chris Carr said: “Securing planning permission for the infrastructure that will enable our proposals to reduce the visual impact of a 4.6km section of overhead line across the Devizes countryside represents a major landmark in the project’s progress. We would like to thank Wiltshire Council and local stakeholders for the constructive advice given to us throughout the development process. From the outset our proposals have been very much shaped by stakeholders and we now have the positive outcome we had hoped for.”

Ian Currie, managing director of Balfour Beatty Power Transmission & Distribution, added: “This latest contract award is a testament to our longstanding relationship with National Grid and our unrivalled expertise and experience in delivering complex energy projects. We look forward to bringing back the unhindered views in one of Britain’s most beautiful landscapes for walkers, visitors and the local community, whilst also ensuring the continued, secure supply of energy to homes and businesses.”

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