Report from AONB Project Officer, Bill Jenman
The East and South-East panel for undergrounding met last week. This group decides the allocation of Ofgem levy funds for burying unsightly overhead low and medium voltage power cables.
Both the applications for works in the Shotley area, totalling £840k, were approved at Stage 1 (in principle). This includes all the red lines east and north of the B1456 on the accompanying map (click here to see the map) (ie to Hill House Farm, past the church to Frogs Alley, and running south across Overhall Farm marshes, and all the associated spurs). Unfortunately the 33kv green line was unaffordable (est. another £1m) and wasn’t included, but it mostly runs along a valley bottom so it isn’t as intrusive as the others anyway. Please note that supplies to individual properties cannot be included in the scheme, which covers the lines only as far as the last transformer.
This agreement means that the £180k match funding for the proposed Heritage Lottery Fund Stour and Orwell Landscape Partnership Scheme (LPS) is now secured, and that there is another £660k of added value already on the table.
Rather like HLF’s stage 1/stage 2 process, the real work must now follow, working up the details of the replacement scheme, formalising landowner agreement, and obtaining necessary consents from Natural England etc. This will probably take a year or so (assuming that LPS staff time is available to assist), so we anticipate that Stage 2 detailed approval should be in place by the time any second round HLF application would be submitted, certainly before an HLF Stage 2 decision would be made. Delivery would then follow in 2-4 years from now (roughly corresponding to the LPS delivery period).
Suffolk Coast & Heaths and Dedham Vale AONBs