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...and now with other news from our electricity supplier
Charities and community organisations in Nailsea are being urged to apply for a share of a £2 million support fund set up by National Grid Electricity Distribution to help tackle fuel poverty this winter.
National Grid’s Community Matters Fund has already supported more than 900 grassroots organisations since it was launched in 2021 as an urgent response to the cost-of-living crisis.
Now National Grid is calling on charities, councils and community groups of all sizes to apply for fuel poverty support grants of up to £10,000 from the latest phase of its fund.
Grants will support grassroots organisations to tackle fuel poverty in their communities by helping people to save energy, keep their homes warm and access warm community spaces this winter.
National Grid Electricity Distribution director of corporate affairs Chris Hayton said: “Unfortunately, many families will be continuing to struggle with the costs of keeping their homes warm this coming winter.
“Our fund will help to address fuel poverty and provide much needed support to those who need it most.
"The fund is open to all grassroots organisations in Nailsea that are working hard to support the most vulnerable in our communities.
"Projects that receive funding will provide a crucial lifeline by offering direct support and energy efficiency measures to help families and households stay warm this winter, contributing to the overall wellbeing and resilience of the communities and homes we serve.
“Charities and community groups will also be given access to a wealth of invaluable resources, like free energy efficiency advice, so they can provide tailor-made, local support for the communities they work with.”
Support will be given to projects committed to:
Helping people get energy tariff advice or support accessing funding schemes, including, but not limited to, winter fuel discounts and Social Fund schemes
Providing energy efficiency or heating solutions to people living in fuel poverty
Operating a ‘warm bank’ in a community building
Improving energy efficiency in a community building used as a warm space
Providing warm packs to vulnerable households eg, radiator bleed keys, heavy curtains, blankets, radiator foil etc
Other innovative approaches to combating fuel poverty
Registered charities, community groups and local authorities are all eligible to apply, using the application form available at www.nationalgrid.co.uk/community-matters-fund.
The closing date for submissions is Friday, October 27.
Follow the fund on social media #GridCommunityFund.
Power to the people
National Grid is shutting off the electricity to a Nailsea leisure centre on Monday evening, October 16, causing keep-fit classes to be cancelled.
Scotch Horn Leisure Centre fitness supervisor Jess Lillington emailed those affected.
She wrote: "Due to National Grid disconnecting the power supply, we are having to close the centre at 5.30pm on Monday, October 16, meaning classes will be cancelled.
"Sorry for any inconvenience caused. "
A National Grid Electricity Distribution spokesman said: “Work needs to be carried out to connect electricity supplies to a new block of flats.
“To install new cabling we will need to shutdown supplies for 37 customers for up to three hours from 5pm on Monday, October 16.
"We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause.”
Dark night at leisure centre
Nailsea community groups can apply now to National Grid £2m winter fund to tackle fuel poverty
WE'RE DONE: All 116 of the new T-pylon structures has now been constructed - with the last being completed near Clevedon and visible from the M5. A line of pylons which used to run close to homes and over gardens in the West End of Nailsea has also been taken down, to the delight of residents. NG celebrated this summer the removal of pylons across Somerset to make way for the new high voltage Hinkley Connection - some of which have been on the landscape for more than 90 years - and follow the journey of a new 174-tonne transformer by sea and land to its home in Bridgwater. The final stage included the diamond-shaped insulators along the 68 T-pylons between Sandford substation and Portbury - the last set being craned into place on a T-pylon near Kenn.
COUNTRY WALK: Photographer Olly O'Sullivan who is retired took these shots on his Sony DSC-HX90 camera. He was on a walk with his wife from Nailsea to Garden Park. Olly said: "I always take my camera to take photos of the countryside, however, our attention was taken up with the pylons!" The first image was taken on the same walk but in 2018 the others are summer 2023
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
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 Nailse