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Works to improve Trevose Head AONB landscape completed

A £140,000 amenity scheme to place overhead lines underground in Trevose Head in Cornwall, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), has been completed. 

The Newquay CMR team has been working to remove 1.2km of 11kV overhead lines, including 17 poles and three pole mounted transformers, on Cornwall’s north coast - a prominent and impressive headland of high clifftops that extends out into the Atlantic and forms part of the Heritage Coast.

Works included the installation of 1.5km of 11kV underground cable and the replacement of an existing ground mounted transformer.

As well as improving network reliability and increasing capacity for customers, the work will have a positive visual impact on the landscape.

Team manager David Gilbert said: “Despite only an 1847 lighthouse (electrified in 1974), an RNLI lifeboat station and a handful of seldom occupied residential properties, the project will benefit the many visitors to this popular and picturesque headland. However ironically, the removal of the overhead conductors was not welcomed by all. The bird watching community were quite disappointed that the birds would have nowhere to perch, so we left three reduced height poles upon which the National Trust assembled simple perches.

“This coastline is very often shrouded in mist, but we experienced some glorious days of sunshine, particularly on the day of the shutdown.”

We operate 91,000km of overhead lines predominantly in rural locations. While overhead lines are widely accepted as being part of the countryside, there are a number of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) across our geographical footprint containing iconic sites where the removal of our overhead lines would improve the visual amenity.

The main method of improving visual amenity whilst maintaining supplies is to replace the overhead lines with underground cables.

Wayleave manager Lynda Tossell said: “We work closely with representatives from AONBs and National Parks and there is a Steering group in each license area. The steering groups are made up of representatives of the AONB and National Park Officers and they are responsible for identifying and prioritising where the work will take place. WPD provides information and appropriate assistance to stakeholders to help them in scheme selection, including budget costing and feasibility assessments. The delivery of projects is dependent on the views of the steering group, timescales to develop and implement schemes and resource availability and this site was chosen for an amenity scheme.”

Following stakeholder engagement we committed to undergrounding 55km of overhead line during RIIO-ED1.



Trevose Head AONB


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