SP Energy Networks has officially submitted a planning application for their proposals to deliver an £18 million project to enhance the electricity network in North Shropshire.
Following two years of design work and consultation with the local community, a Development Consent Order (DCO) has been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate, who will consider the company’s plans to develop a new 132,000 volt wooden pole overhead line between Oswestry and Wem.
The North Shropshire Reinforcement Project will see a new wood-pole electricity line run from Oswestry substation, located at the A5/A495 roundabout, to Wem substation, located on Ellesmere Road on the western side of Wem. This line will boost capacity in the area to support development on land allocated for new jobs and homes in Oswestry, Whitchurch and Wem. It will help to attract future business and housing investment across North Shropshire up to and beyond 2036. Investments like this are also critical to enable the electricity grid to be prepared for future innovations, such as the expected increase in electric vehicles and their chargers.
Mark Sobczak, Head of 132kV Programmes at SP Energy Networks, said: “For two years we have been carefully shaping our plans for this very important upgrade project. We have consulted with hundreds of residents and business owners, and carried out detailed environmental and technical studies. Our proposals will significantly boost the capacity of the electricity network in North Shropshire, helping to support major economic developments in the area for decades to come. All of the information we received during the consultations helped to shape our final plans, and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback.”
It is anticipated that the Planning Inspectorate will make a decision on the plans by summer 2020. If approved, the company would seek to begin construction of the overhead line latterly in 2020 and into 2021, with project completion expected by summer 2022.