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Westbury cable trench goes to planning committee

June 15, 2019 9:51 PM

An application by Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd for the installation of an underground grid connection from Northacre Industrial Estate in Westbury to the county boundary on the way to Frome, goes to the Strategic Planning Committee on Thursday June 20th. A similar application for the rest of the route has been made to Mendip DC.

The application has been called to committee by Westbury councillor Russell Hawker, who says, "This is very highly controversial and is part of the planned waste to energy (gasification) power plant proposal at Northacre I.E., Westbury. The debate needs to occur at committee regardless of whether the officer recommendation is to permit or not."

The cable would carry electricity generated at the Advanced Thermal Treatment facility (ATT) and the distribution network substation at Rodden Lane, Frome. The Westbury ATT has not yet been built. There is a planning permission in place for it, though applications to update the scheme have not yet been successful.

After construction and re-seeding the cable trench would not be visible apart from the occasional manhole cover. However it's controversial by association with the ATT plant. Objections have been received from Westbury and Dilton Marsh councils, as well as residents and the local MP.

Officers are though recommending approval, and the committee is likely to go along with that recommendation.