What’s been done so far in Snowdonia, what is coming up and what will happen if the project is taken forward.
A section of overhead lines in the Snowdonia National Park that crosses the Dwyryd Estuary near Porthmadog was identified as having a significant landscape and visual impact.
Winter 2014 – Autumn 2015
National Grid and independent landscape consultants undertook further technical work and considered the detailed input from local stakeholders in Gwynedd and the National Park. This enabled the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Group to prioritise the section of transmission line as one of four to be taken forward nationally in September 2015.
National Grid working with local partners established a Stakeholder Reference Group. The following organisations regularly attend these technical meetings:
- Gwynedd Archaeological Planning Service
- Gwynedd Council
- National Trust
- Natural Resources Wales
- Network Rail
- Snowdonia National Park Authority
Winter 2015 – Summer 2016
National Grid undertook environmental, transport and ecology surveys in the area around the line both within and outside the National Park boundary and engaging with technical stakeholders and members of the local community.
Autumn – Winter 2016
The VIP project’s Stakeholder Advisory Group reviewed the results of the environmental and engineering surveys, the stakeholder feedback and National Grid’s preferred options. The Group recommended that the project should proceed to further development work which will inform the preparation of a planning application.
Geotechnical surveys will be taking place throughout 2017.
If the project in Snowdonia is taken forward to the next stage, we will carry out formal stakeholder consultation before seeking to secure the necessary planning permissions and other consents.
2021 – 2024
After obtaining consent, rather than start work immediately on the project, it has been agreed that we should align the construction work on the Snowdonia VIP project with work on National Grid’s North Wales Connection project – to build new a new connection linking the proposed nuclear power station at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey. The construction programme for Wylfa is currently scheduled to start 2020 (although this is subject to confirmation) and so it is most likely that construction work would begin then.
The decision was taken to align the two projects by VIP’s Stakeholder Advisory Group and the Snowdonia Stakeholder Reference Group as it will reduce the impact of construction activity both on the local community and the environment – otherwise there was a strong possibility that work on the North Wales Connection would have begun in the area just as the VIP work was coming to an end. In this way, the time take for construction can be reduced. Aligning the construction work of the two projects will give greater certainty about the number of cables needed to meet the increase in capacity.
The current indicative programme is that, subject to all necessary negotiations, approvals and consents, on-site works will commence in spring 2021 and take approximately three years to complete.