Caroline Nokes MP says a planned electricity substaion will be built on wildlife haven against villagers' wishes

Giant electricity substation against villagers' wishes - MP

Giant electricity substation against villagers' wishes - MP

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Parliamentary Correspondent

A GIANT electricity substation will be built on a wildlife haven against the wishes of villagers, a Southampton MP has protested.

Caroline Nokes led a Commons debate to attack planning rules which leave local people powerless to stop National Grid acting, also shutting off a public right of way.

The Conservative MP urged ministers to look urgently at the way “certificates of lawful permitted development” can ride roughshod over local views.

And she said: “My constituents feel unconsulted and ignored, denied at every turn the chance to have their voice heard.”

Substation The row centres on a floodprone field in the village of Nursling, near the junction of the M27 and the M271.

One third of the field has been home to a small electricity substation for more than 40 years, but the remainder is popular with dog walkers and nature lovers. But all that is poised to change as a knock-on effect from the landmark decision to build a new nuclear powers station at Hinkley C, in Somerset.

Under National Grid’s plans, the sub-station will treble in size with “two enormous quad boosters to deal with the electricity provided by Hinkley Point C”, ministers were told.

Crucially, because it has been deemed an “associated development”, the expansion will not go through the normal planning process – which would allow villagers to object.

Instead, Ms Nokes said, local planners have been forced to issue a certificate of lawful permitted development, paving the way for the giant substation.

The Romsey and Southampton North MP said: “The scheme, if it goes ahead, has the potential to have a seriously negative impact upon the surrounding area, the natural habitat and the amenity of the local residents.

“The footprint will mean the public right of way will be lost, this haven for wildlife concreted over to allow a dramatic increase in size of the current sub-station.”

Ms Nokes said she was not arguing against the decision to build a new nuclear point, agreeing it was necessary to ‘keep the lights on’.

Issues But she added: “It is a classic Catch-22. There is nothing that can be done to stop it being built and there is no mechanism for my constituents to express their view.”

In response, local government minister Brandon Lewis agreed the debate “raised important issues around the planning process and community engagement”.

But he raised eyebrows by saying: “As I understand it, the Hinkley C connector project does not include proposals at the Nursling substation.”

Ms Nokes said she would be making further inquiries, given the contradiction.

Comments (7)

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12:30pm Fri 28 Mar 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Seems as if the issues are being muddled up here, there have been many complaints about power supply problems in the area, how essential is this installation to ensure power continuity and are there any other better sites for it? The Nuclear debate shouldn't be used as it isn't all that relevant.
Seems as if the issues are being muddled up here, there have been many complaints about power supply problems in the area, how essential is this installation to ensure power continuity and are there any other better sites for it? The Nuclear debate shouldn't be used as it isn't all that relevant. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: -1

4:41pm Fri 28 Mar 14

*ay*carumba* says...

Tories couldn't care less about wildlife.
Tories couldn't care less about wildlife. *ay*carumba*
  • Score: 1

7:12pm Fri 28 Mar 14

issacchunt says...

My constituents feel unconsulted and ignored, denied at every turn the chance to have their voice heard.”

Especially when they've written to you and got no reply.
My constituents feel unconsulted and ignored, denied at every turn the chance to have their voice heard.” Especially when they've written to you and got no reply. issacchunt
  • Score: 2

8:11pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Pomerol says...

issacchunt wrote:
My constituents feel unconsulted and ignored, denied at every turn the chance to have their voice heard.”

Especially when they've written to you and got no reply.
Disagree. She is always really prompt in replying to me, usually the same day. I've written on 4 subjects. One reply was at nearly midnight. Maybe the letter or email got lost or set to spam. try re-sending.
[quote][p][bold]issacchunt[/bold] wrote: My constituents feel unconsulted and ignored, denied at every turn the chance to have their voice heard.” Especially when they've written to you and got no reply.[/p][/quote]Disagree. She is always really prompt in replying to me, usually the same day. I've written on 4 subjects. One reply was at nearly midnight. Maybe the letter or email got lost or set to spam. try re-sending. Pomerol
  • Score: -1

8:14pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Pomerol says...

OSPREYSAINT wrote:
Seems as if the issues are being muddled up here, there have been many complaints about power supply problems in the area, how essential is this installation to ensure power continuity and are there any other better sites for it? The Nuclear debate shouldn't be used as it isn't all that relevant.
The substation is only being extended because of the need to manage the feed from Hinkley C. The argument is not against nuclear power, or the need to create new sources of energy. Its about no-one asking local people how they feel about having a substation trebled in size without the right to comment!
[quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: Seems as if the issues are being muddled up here, there have been many complaints about power supply problems in the area, how essential is this installation to ensure power continuity and are there any other better sites for it? The Nuclear debate shouldn't be used as it isn't all that relevant.[/p][/quote]The substation is only being extended because of the need to manage the feed from Hinkley C. The argument is not against nuclear power, or the need to create new sources of energy. Its about no-one asking local people how they feel about having a substation trebled in size without the right to comment! Pomerol
  • Score: 1

8:03am Sat 29 Mar 14

mickey01 says...

villagers hate anything being built whatever it is ! they still want to live in a chocolate box settings which aint going to happen
villagers hate anything being built whatever it is ! they still want to live in a chocolate box settings which aint going to happen mickey01
  • Score: -1

11:14am Sun 13 Apr 14

PETER873 says...

Voting green is the only viable way of opposing this doomed nuclear policy. Renewable energy is cheaper so why overlook this. It seems to me the government has a vested interest somewhere.
Voting green is the only viable way of opposing this doomed nuclear policy. Renewable energy is cheaper so why overlook this. It seems to me the government has a vested interest somewhere. PETER873
  • Score: 0

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