NATIONAL GRID IN NAILSEA
Linking a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset to Seabank 3 at Avonmouth via towns in North Somerset...the building story
BETTER OR WORSE: The view from Greenslade Gardens, Nailsea, on a cold and frosty February morning. It is the old and the new T-pylons side by side. Thanks to Dave Gray for the image
T-PYLON TERROR: Pat Summerell once had open views of the surrounding countryside from her Tickenham cottage. Now she has this. Pat said: "We couldn't see the old pylons. On Wednesday, February 15, they started putting the large hanging bits on the arms." Margaret Corfield said: "They are actually terrifying. Some of the old pylons here have come down. Some still remain, but the huge new ones are, as expected, a massive eyesore. The one just behind the Tickenham Star pub does not ' blend in well with its environment ' as we were told it would. It's a giant, menacing, concrete monster in what looks like the pub's backyard. No wonder the place has had to close. It's quite scary when you turn off the Causeway to go into Tickenham past the ancient St Quiricus and St Julietta church which is a Grade ! listed building with parts dating back to the 11th century. The new houses there have a wonderful full on view of them to greet them every day." Pat added: "i agree they are so solid and imposing."
GARDEN VIEW; Bryan Sheppard took this view from the bottom of his Nailsea Garden. He said: "Off Tickenham Hill. More dominant than they appear here, but smaller than feared. Closer to me than expected. I do wonder how they will affect property values. I am interested in the damage from the radiation emitted.
CHANGING LANDSCAPE: Just weeks earlier in January on a morning walk across the Roman causeway Nailsea resident Becky Charrison took these photos of National Grid contractors at work installing the new line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth.The first three images were taken in February while walking her dog Tilly. Despite being on a floodplain Becky fears another housing development on the green marshland which is on the edge of the Somerset Levels...
Going underground in the Mendip Hills
National Grid summer edition e-newsletter is out and you can read it HERE.
The In Your Area section on the project website provides the latest information on construction activity relevant to each area as NG continues its work to connect six million homes and businesses.
One of the biggest impacts Nailsea people noticed going to the beer festival was the huge pylon which once dominated the entrance to Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Club has gone.
But many wonder what will happen at Nailsea & Tickenham FC ground at Fryth Way when new pylons go up?
The land northwest of Nailsea with sports pitches is part of a larger site for 450 homes.
It is not expected that this land would come forward before the mid to late-2020s, said a North Somerset Council consultation yet Nailsea Town Council has contributed to the huge investment with a £10,000 grant towards floodlighting.
An NG spokesman said: "We want to keep communities updated and welcome residents registering to receive project updates direct to their inbox."
This summer edition mostly concerns further down the route where NG is removing 67km of existing overhead wires and pylons – 249 in total – from the Somerset landscape.
And 35 pylons are being removed between Loxton and Sandford, where instead of building T-pylons it has have installed 8.5km of underground cables under the Mendip Hills, which will leave this part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty pylon-free for the first time in 91 years!
The e-newsletter contains a video with project manager Aden Precious talking about how National Grid are removing pylons from the Somerset landscape.
In this edition of the Hinkley Connection Project newsletter, learn more about our work to support communities with the awarding more than £1 million to community projects incuding Ravenswood School at Pound Lane, how we are hoping to inspire engineers of the future and our commitment to plant 5,959 trees by 2025.
Get a behind the scenes look at how we moved three massive series reactors to Shurton substation and with 48 T-pylons now completed, see how ITV West Country reported on our progress.
To download your copy of the newsletter click HERE.
Still to come during 2023, National Grid we’ll remove the second line of existing WPD lattice pylons that runs from Sandford to Avonmouth, that’ll see 67 kilometres of WPD’s overhead line removed by the time the Hinkley Connection Project is completed in 2025.
UP HIGH: Nailsea gardens feature in the November e-newsletter from the National Grid. Can you work out exactly which roads feature in this fabulous image? The newsletter also gives a work diary of what is still to do to link Hinkley and Avonmouth via our countryside. Read your own copy online here https://subscribers.nationalgrid.co.uk/t/d-DF2416CBA831CC1F2540EF23F30FEDED.
Pylons going underground
PHOTOS: Balfour Beatty, Bob Pitchford, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
The horizon of Noah's Ark zoo farm has included huge pylons for more than 60 years.
They are now being replaced with underground cables and the view of the zoo has changed now for good with the pylons removed at the end of September.
The pylons and overhead electricity lines passed overhead of the lion and bear enclosures providing a unique challenge for National Grid contractor Balfour Beatty, to create a solution that didn’t disturb animals, visitors or staff.
It has been a phased process with the wires being dismantled using a controlled lifting systems originally designed for the London Olympic Park that reel in the wires without needing to lower them to the ground.
Planned for after the summer holidays, the pylon that sits on the hill
overlooking Elephant Eden, was then felled with the use of a winch on the top of the pylon.
It’s one of 249 pylons that will be removed between Bridgwater and Avonmouth as part of the Hinkley Project.
Everyone has been impressed to see the electricity lines disappear one by one and witness how safe and quietly the felling happened.
Noah’s Ark is very pleased with the change, making a beautiful spot of Somerset countryside even more scenic, said a spokesman.
National Grid project engineer Aden Precious said: “It’s been a unique experience and challenge for our teams and we’re delighted to have improved the views for all visitors – and residents!”
More Noah's Ark news HERE.
PYLONS REMOVED: Moving towards Causeway View, Becky Charrison who is the residential house manager for Peverel Management Services Ltd at the Kingshill Gardens retirement complex at the end of Queen's Road took these photos of more pylons close to homes being taken down mid September 2021. Thanks Becky for sharing...
MEN AT WORK: On high at Brunel Road and Rhyne Way National Grid contractors continue to remove the old power line. Fiona Parker took the photos on Wednesday afternoon, August 2, thank you for sharing with Nailsea People
View from my window
Steve and Nicky Tuckfield live in Brunel Road, Nailsea.
Steve took these photos of the pylons straddling their home being removed at the end of August 2021.
He said: "We are just pleased to see the lines being taken down."
The new T-line pylons will be much further away from these homes on the edge of Nailsea and are going across the fields between the housing and Tickenham on the very edge of the Somerset Levels.
A local GP nearly a decade ago voiced concerns of the high incidents of cancer in nearby Causeway View.
And evidence that high voltage power lines cause cancer by making particles of pollution stick to people's lungs was uncovered by a team from Bristol University and published in The Guardian back in September 2000.
This research showed that car exhaust particles get an electrical charge from overhead power lines that makes them 'sticky' - giving people living close to the lines two or three times the average daily dose of potentially damaging pollutants in their lungs.
David Henshaw, of Bristol University, said at the time the discovery was the missing link that showed how power lines can cause cancer clusters - something the global electricity industry has spent millions of pounds researching without finding a conclusive answer.
But a Government commissioned report of adult cancers near overhead powerlines found no firm evidence in its Interim report in 2011 on whether there an increased risk...in relation to distance from exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields from high voltage overhead power lines in England and Wales.
And a study by the American Cancer Society in 2017 concluded: "The possible link between electromagnetic fields and cancer has been a subject of controversy for several decades.
'It's not clear exactly how electromagnetic fields, a form of low-energy, non-ionizing radiation, can increase cancer risk.
'Plus, because we are all exposed to different amounts of these fields at different times, the issue has been hard to study.'
Towering pylons which have been part of the North Somerset skyline for decades and dismantling began this summer.
The existing pylons owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD) on a section between Nailsea and Portishead will go to make way for a new 400,000 volt power line being installed as part of the Hinkley Connection Project.
The pylons near Nailsea and Backwell Rugby Football Club were the first to go with those going over Nailsea gardens were due to be removed in September so it appears the project is ahead of schedule.
In total 22 pylons towards Tickenham which are closest to people's homes will be taken down.
Balfour Beatty, one of the contractors for National Grid, will build the new overhead connection between Sandford and Avonmouth.
One thing is clear however - the view is much nicer without the pylons.
Power to the people
The summer e-newsletter from the Hinkley Connection Project is out now.
It features the latest construction updates in our area and what to expect in the months to come.
National Grid has started to remove the nine kilometres of existing Western Power Distribution overhead lines and pylons close to homes and gardens in Nailsea, with the felling of three pylons on land owned by Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Club.
The remaining pylons will be removed between this August and October.
In total, 67 km of overhead line will be removed by 2025.
This is to make room for and reduce the visual impact of new T-pylons that National Grid are building between Sandford and Avonmouth and which will run to the west of the town.
To read more go to https://hinkleyconnection.co.uk/project-summary/ and look at the In Your Area section.
You can subscribe to the latest Hinkley Connect Project e-newsletter here https://subscribers.nationalgrid.co.uk/h/d/81B9FAF492ACB0A5..
GOING UNDERGROUND: Pylons at Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Club have come down with the roundabout and views looking much clearer. Club spokesman Richard Palmer who took the top photo of the dismantling said: "It's part of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station iproject with pylons in Nailsea going underground to pop back up the other side of Cadbury Camp."
Pylons will start to come down in May
The existing electricity pylons, owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD), between Nailsea and Portishead will start to be taken down later this month as part of the Hinkley Connection Project.
Pylons near Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Football Club will be removed first. The pylons that straddle Nailsea gardens are planned to be removed during September, with the remaining pylons along this route removed by October 2021.
In total 22 ancient pylons towards Tickenham which are closest to people's homes will be taken down.
The second line of WPD pylons that runs between Sandford to Avonmouth will be removed during 2023.
From mid-May 2021, Balfour Beatty, one of the contractors for National Grid, will start work building the new overhead connection between Sandford and Avonmouth.
This includes putting up modern T-pylons on the moors further away from homes.
NG has created a page with more details on its website at: https://hinkleyconnection.co.uk/pylons-sandford-avonmouth/
However, Nailsea people will still have to put up with more roadworks to the west of the town for short periods during testing of the underground cables.
The existing site off Hanham Way is to be used for building the new T-pylons.
NG is also building temporary road access into its construction sites just north west of Nailsea.
This will involve closing a section of Nailsea Wall from Monday, May 17, until mid-June.
This is just past the Blue Flame pub which after the latest lockdown plans to reopen this month.
There are no properties within this short stretch which is just after the pub and access will be maintained for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders.
The map showing the diversion route, along with timings of roadworks between Sandford and Avonmouth is available on its project website with an alternative route to Kenn here:
A NG spokesman said: “We understand this temporary closure may cause disruption to journeys and we’re sorry for any inconvenience.
“We’ve put up advance notice signs, and the diversion will be clearly marked and signposted.
“We’ll work with our contractors to complete the work and reopen the road as quickly as possible.
The company has issued its latest e-newsletter this week which you can also read online.
It includes news of donations of food and toiletries to two local foodbanks, Nailsea Community Group and Southfield Church.
More information is available by clicking HERE.
OPEN AND CLOSED: One road opens - two days earlier than predicted - and then hot on its heels and a stone's throw away comes news that a nearby road is to close for 10 days. National Grid finished its work in Hanham Way and traffic was flowing on Saturday, March 13, but in two weeks time from Monday, March 22, Hannah More Road will be closed between 8am and 5pm for resurfacing, There are no further details at this time on the North Somerset Council interactive network map here https://one.network/custom/northsomerset/ or in the list of public notices announcing any road closure for Nailsea
In July 2020 National Grid told us 116 T-pylons which are the first new design for nearly 100 years will form part of the 57km route from Hinkley to Seabank.
These pylons to be installed by the end of July 2021 will connect six million homes and businesses to low carbon energy.
North Somerset councillor Mike Bird, who is the independent councillor for Nailsea Yeo, took these photos of pylons shrouded in scaffolding and plastic while out walking along the bridlepath from West End to Nailsea.
Everyone wondered if this was the start of the new T-pylons going in, so Nailsea People asked the question.
National Grid spokesman Gillian Burnell said: “The pylon with the scaffolding around it near Engine Lane is a CSE (Cable Sealing End) pylon.
“It’s where the existing overhead electricity lines will connect to the underground cables that we are installing between Nailsea and Portishead, as part of the Hinkley Connection Project.
“When working on joining the overhead lines and the cables, we need a very clean environment.
“That’s what the scaffolding and plastic sheeting is for – it provides the engineers who will work on the jointing a clean, enclosed working area.
“The scaffolding is so high as it also incorporates a lifting beam which will lift insulators over the terminations once they are complete.
“The scaffolding will be removed when the terminations are completed.
“The final bit of the works on this pylon, following successful testing, will be to swing the existing overhead lines over from the old pylon to the new one and connect it to the cable terminations.”
Whether Nailsea will get the T-pylons which have a single pole and T-shaped cross arms holding the wires in a diamond ‘earring’ shape is not clear.
These T-pylons - see artist impression - are around 35 metres high; about a third shorter than traditional 400kV lattice pylons, have a smaller footprint and use less land.
The new high voltage 400kV overhead line featuring the new pylons is just one element of the Hinkley Connection which will run from Hinkley to Seabank, near Avonmouth.
The full route is made up of 14 interconnected project stages which are set for completion by 2025.
It includes modifications to Western Power Distribution’s (WPD) existing network plus 8.5km of underground cables through the Mendip Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which will leave the area free of pylons for the first time since the 1960s.
Construction work started in 2018.
Locally in 2020 we saw the start of works to underground 132kV lines and remove pylons that run close to and over homes in Nailsea and the installation of a tilting weir on moors near Tickenham to adjust water levels to encourage wading birds to nest and breed.
UPDATE: T-pylons will be built west of Nailsea, further away than the currently pylons are now – shown in the red line with the dots on the map below. Preparation work will start in mid-May though people won’t start seeing the main T part of the structures until 2022. The black dashed lines are the pylons that will be taken down.
UPDATE: Hanham Way, Nailsea, closure news. National Grid is running approximately two weeks behind schedule with the underground cabling works so Hanham Way will now hopefully re-open in mid March 2021. A NG spokesman said neighbours had been informed and on Monday, February 22, new road signs would be going up. The projected date for reopening is now Monday, March 15
EE BY GUM: National Grid Hinkley Connect Project latest quarterly update has come in the format of an e-newsletter. It is HERE although it contains nothing for Nailsea it does give an overall view of the pylon progress. Follow the link to download or read online. The community relations team said: "We're looking at ways to develop the digital format to make it easier to share before we send out our next update. We hope you liked the new e-newsletter. We aimed to keep it simple and catchy – focussing on the stories that matter most to our local communities. We welcome your feedback and comments." Better tell them we want more Nailsea news!
POSTCARD FROM THE EDGE (2): Another year and another road closure as National Grid restart roadworks at Hanham Way which was temporarily halted during the Christmas/New Year holidays. Queens Road ends here. National Grid have confirmed they will need to close this section until the work is completed at the end of February. Nailsea People has to say the diversion is a bit of a route march - we came in from Causeway View and ended up going home via Tickenham church and into Nailsea along Clevedon Road. Big roadworks opposite The Star - too dangerous to take photo
To Nailsea residents
POSTCARD FROM THE EDGE: National Grid has sent out this postcard to Nailsea residents living near its roadworks at Hanham Way. Unfortunately Bristol Water overran on its schedule so it has been decided to patch up the road and reopen it temporarily to traffic then resume work in the new year. From late Monday afternoon, November 30, Hanham Way is reopening. NG will be back in the new year to complete the work...its open see pic
School traffic cones donation
Following an approach from Nailsea School’s PTA, construction company, J Murphy and Sons has donated 150 traffic cones to help staff enforce bubble and one-way systems across the Mizzymead Road school site.
J Murphy and Sons are undertaking vital infrastructure works for National Grid in the west end of Nailsea, undergrounding 132kV electric cables from Nailsea to Portishead as part of the Hinkley Connection Project, which will connect six million UK homes and businesses to low carbon energy.
Headteacher Dionne Elliot said: “The traffic cones around site have made such a difference - we’ve been able to clearly mark out one-way systems and areas to maintain our bubbles. Murphy’s generosity is much appreciated.”
J Murphy and Sons senior project manager Janel Sjorley said: “All the extra measures that schools have had to put in place are a lot of extra work and responsibility for teachers and staff and we were delighted to be able to help in such a practical way.”
James Goode, National Grid project director James Goode said: “National Grid and our contractors on the Hinkley Connection want to be good neighbours in every community we are working in.
"This support for Nailsea School is a part of that.”
Once the work on undergrounding the electricity cables is complete, the two existing 132kV lines of pylons, owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD) that run close to and over homes in Nailsea will be taken down.
This work is expected to start in mid-2021.
This will make way for, and reduce the visual impact of, a new 400kV T-pylon line, situated further to the west of Nailsea, which National Grid will also start constructing next year.
National Grid AUTUMN newsletter
To read newsletter in full you can download HERE
No through road for Hanham Way, Nailsea
UPDATE: Hanham Way roadworks by the National Grid are slightly delayed and now expected to be in place from Friday, September 25. The signs on Hanham Way display the revised date and the National Grid website is being updated here: https://hinkleyconnection.co.uk/digging-trenches-and-installing-cable-ducts-in-the-west-end-of-nailsea/
The prediction is it could be closed until Christmas...
From Saturday, September 19, if you want to cut across the Causeway to get to Tickenham you will have to do a circular tour of Nailsea first as Hanham Way is going to closed to traffic until Christmas!
Likewise if you are heading to Parish Brook Road, Watery Way, Rhyne View or Brunel Road you may have to take a different route home.
A National Grid Hinkley Connection Project community team spokesman said: “To ensure the safety of road users and our workers, we need to close part of Hanham Way until December 2020.
“To help reduce the impact to residents, we’ve coordinated with Bristol Water so that essential work to reinforce and divert an existing water main on Hanham Way will take place at the same time.
“We anticipate the water works will also be completed by end of December but have agreed with the local highway authority a road closure on Hanham Way for up to six months.
“This added timeframe is precautionary, should the water works need to continue into early 2021.
”We know this closure will cause disruption to residents and delays to journeys.
“We are sorry about this and we’re continuing to work with Murphy and Bristol Water to reduce our impact and to complete these works and reopen Hanham Way as soon as possible.
”We’ve kept Nailsea Town Council updated and with the help of Nailsea People we’ve kept Nailsea residents up to date throughout construction.
“This week, we’ve issued letters to residents in the west end of Nailsea, enclosing the attached map to notify them of the road closure.
“For the residents closest to our work on Hanham Way, we’ve invited them to meet with members of our project team.
“To comply with Covid-19 safety guidelines and protect residents and our staff, there is an appointment system in place to ensure physical distancing is maintained, plus additional measures.
”Our community relations team is on hand 24/7 to ensure all concerns can be addressed.@
As part of the Hinkley Connection Project, National Grid’s contractor, Murphy, has completed the cable ducting in Engine Lane, along Blackfriars Road, Hannah More Road, and a section of Hanham Way.
Work is currently underway on Queens Road and across the four-way junction on North Street, using traffic lights.
NG contractors have now completed the ducting in many areas.
To manage how construction activity affects people and balance that impact with initiatives to support local communities and schools, National Grid welcomes applications from community groups and charities.
For further information on how these initiatives and how to apply click HERE.
To stay up to date and find more information on all stages of the Hinkley Connection Project follow this likn to the National Grid website .
Hanham Way closure - from Saturday, September 19, 2020
Between September and December 2020, the plan to complete work on Hanham Way and contractors will need to close part of the road.
National Grid is working with the local highways authority to coordinate these works, with the priority being the safety of all users.
To help reduce impact to residents, National Grid has coordinated with Bristol Water so that essential work to reinforce and divert an existing water main on Hanham Way will take place at the same time.
They plan to complete the water works by the end of December 2020 but have agreed with the local highway authority a road closure on Hanham Way for up to six months.
This added timeframe is precautionary, should the water works need to continue into early 2021.
National Grid lead project manager Tony Dyas said: “We remain grateful to residents for their patience and understanding during these works.
"We’re continuing to keep Nailsea residents and the town council up to date throughout construction.”
The closure and diversion route is shown on the map.
Advance notice signs and traffic diversions will be clearly marked for road users.
Access will be maintained for residents and for emergency vehicles, but ‘through access’ won’t be possible.
Tony Dyas added: “We know this closure will cause disruption to residents and delays to journeys and we are sorry about this.
"We are working with Murphy and Bristol Water to reduce our impact where we can and to complete these works and reopen Hanham Way as soon as possible.”
By September 2021, the underground cables between Nailsea and Portishead will be operational.
Together with their contractor, Balfour Beatty – National Grid will take down the two lines of pylons that run close to and over homes in Nailsea and prepare to build the new T-pylons from Sandford to Seabank.
Nailsea in news with National Grid
The National Grid summer update features a photograph which first appeared here on Nailsea People of Reggie, aged nearly three, admiring the diggers near his home.
Also it has another photo of 'men at work' on The Causeway and contains the latest Hinkley Connection Project news over four pages including pictures of the first old pylons being demolished further down the line.
To download your copy click HERE.
National Grid new roadworks
The closure of Hannah More Road, Nailsea, remains in place until mid-August.
Access to local businesses on Hannah More Road has been maintained from Queens Road throughout this temporary closure.
From Thursday, July 30, the work to install the cable ducting will move to the lower end of Hannah More Road.
Contractor, Murphy, has continued to keep businesses in this area updated.
The official diversion routes will be signposted for motorists.
National Grid is working with its contractors to reopen roadd as soon as possible.
The work schedule has been revised with reduced closure times:
Blackfriars Road, digging trenches and installing cable ducts continues until mid-August with traffic lights in place
Hannah More Road digging trenches and installing cable ducts continues until mid-August with road closed - see diversion map
Queens Road and North Street four-way junction digging trenches and installing cable ducts starts soon - watch this space - and will have two, three and four way traffic lights
Hanham Way digging trenches, installing cable ducts and joint bays starts mid September throught to mid December with road closure and new diversion map to come
Nailsea mum Liana Bennett said: "The machinery has been a welcomed sight during lockdown.
"My little boy loves to see them.
"The workers always wave and beep - a credit to Murphy."
Liana took the photo of her son admiring the roadworks.
Please note these dates may change at short notice.
For more information go to https://hinkleyconnection.co.uk/digging-trenches-and-installing-cable-ducts-in-the-west-end-of-nailsea/
MP Liam Fox on case Cadbury Camp cables
North Somerset MP LIam Fox visited concerned constituents this summer about potential blight of their properties due to the new pylons.
This is properties on Tickenham Ridge and towards Cadbury Camp.
At Tickenham Ridge, the cables will follow the only natural gap in the woodland and cross the end of Cadbury Camp Lane.
From there it will run between Clapton-in-Gordano and Portbury, avoiding the ancient Priors Wood.
The line will then turn north-east to run parallel with the M5 near Portishead before crossing the A369 and continuing on to cross the River Avon to the west of the existing line toward Avonmouth.
At a public enquiry back in 2015 it was said the ‘real cost’ would be to the fauna and flora including bats, birds, otters and the animals at Noah’s Ark zoo farm, the disturbance to peat bogs and listed buildings some of which date back to the Doomsday Book and the fears of ’cancer cluster’ health risks which dominated the arguments against overhead pylons which was voiced at Nailsea.
At the time Stewart Plant, of Tickenham Court Farm, talked of his concern for the remains on his land of a Roman villa which dates back to 100AD and how a plough had hit underground water pipes which resurfaced and exposed the peat causing it to ‘shrink’.
Peat exposed to the air decomposes and turns into carbon dioxide.
He said: “We have a huge interest in keeping peat wet because if CO2 levels rise we won’t be here.”
Cadbury Camp Lane resident John Miles and his neighbour Alistair Cole talked of their rural ‘no through’ road being ‘sandwiched’ between 132K voltage cables going underneath homes and 400K voltage cables overhead.
Mr Cole whose home would be ‘worthless’ said his family had lived with ‘catastrophic’ stress in the decade since the pylon plan was revealed.
Dr Fox said he will be taking up their case again with both the National Grid UK and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy