Ok so this is a very important update about Aquind and covers a local consultation, updated details and information on how to give your views. The formal steps to a planning application have begun and now is the time to act.
The first key item is that Aquind are holding a public consultation at Jubilee Hall in Horndean on Thursday 14th March between 16:00 and 20:00. The full address is: Jubilee Hall, Crouch Lane, Horndean, PO8 9SU. There should be plenty of information for us to view as well as representatives of Aquind to ask questions from.
If you can not make it to the consultation then Aquind have deposited a full set of their documents at Waterlooville, Horndean and Petersfield Libraries.
The second is that Aquind have triggered a consultation process which will lead to a planning application. Significantly Aquind are looking to apply directly to the Secretary of State for permission to build, rather than the local planning authority.
Their theory here is that the Secretary of State is more likely to give greater weight to the national interest of power security than local issues. The application also covers several local authorities so one view on the entire application is safer for them.
They have to consult locally before applying and the results they gather will be used as part of the application. It is important to act now.
WHAT SHOULD I SAY?:
For us in Horndean if allowed the project will have three major impacts.
1 – The highways works for the below ground cable installation which will be extensive.
2 – The construction works for the main sub-station which are likely to take several years.
3 – The long term visual impact of the new building.
I would encourage you to give a two pronged response. The first saying if you support or object to the scheme, and the second emphasising how it may be mitigated if the Secretary of State decides to allow the application. Do not be limited by the tick box questions on the form. If you have views that go beyond the stated options then please give them on the form. Please keep your responses so that when the Secretary of State has the application you can re-submit the same comments there too.
If approved then the longest term impact on the community will be the visual impact of the building and possibly electro-magnetic hum from the transformers.
The planning authority (if they grant permission) also has powers to require the applicant to do the following:
Limit construction activity to certain working hours (typically Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm), Require a traffic management plan that minimises local impact, Require a specified amount of noise mitigation from the final scheme and more.
Personally I will be emphasising that, if allowed, the converter building must:
1 – Be sunken into the ground to 1m above the water table to minimise its effective height.
2 – The façade and roof must be constructed out of a green roof and green wall construction so as to minimise visual impact. The superstructure must be a curved / stepped back structure to have a broken up form which with the planting minimises its visual impact.
3 – A minimum of 30m of planting around the building including semi mature species of tree that will grow to the same height as the building.
4 – Noise attenuation is required to ensure that the building makes no measurable increase in noise over and above the existing substation.
5 – The green wall and roof, planting and noise attenuation must be maintained while the structure is in operation.
6 – The Developer must submit a traffic management plan to the Local planning Authority for agreement.
A very large number of residents in Horndean have received a consultation pack. If you have not then I have uploaded all of the consultation details here so you can view and respond.
Aside from the consultation pack that Aquind have sent out, you can also give your views to Aquind on email at email@example.com and freepost at ‘AQUIND CONSULTATION’. However you respond their cut off date is Monday 29th April 2019. Please note that Aquind ask for a name and address for whoever is giving their view – they may decide to ignore anonymous responses so it is important to give this to validate your response and also to receive updates from them.
Please can you also copy your views into firstname.lastname@example.org so EHDC can also monitor the responses and help to build our consultation reply.
Some key information:
Image below – In January 2017 the consultation kept the option open for a location in EHDC (Option 1) and Winchester (Option 3). Aquind have advised they are moving forward with option 3 (Right below).
Image below – Aquind Converter Station Plan.