UNDERGROUND cables linking the UK electricity grid with Ireland will be allowed through National Park land at Freshwater West.
Greenlink Interconnector Limited’s application was approved by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s development management committee today (July 15).
HVDC electricity cables will be installed from the mean low water mark at Freshwater West beach to the National Park boundary near Neath Farm with horizontal directional drilling used.
Agent for the applicant Tom Brinicombe told members of the committee that this will come from a field above the beach with the road and beach kept open and the sand dunes remaining untouched.
Mr. Brinicombe agreed with members who highlighted that there will be a public interest in viewing the work, particularly when the cables are pulled through the pipeline, adding “there should not be a requirement for security or closure of the beach.”
Vessels will be close to the shore when the cables are pulled through and “suggestions of how to maximise education” would be welcome.
The committee was told by planning officer Andrew Richards that the cable route did not cross any operational Valero pipelines on National Park land and thermal protection was in the place where required.
The cables would stretch across 3.2km of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park controlled land to Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning boundary before extending to a converter station located near to the existing Pembroke substation.
Pembrokeshire County Council also has two applications to cover the proposed route from Neath Farm to converter station site and for the new converter station structure which is to be linked to the National Grid connections near to the existing RWE Power Station.
Cllr Phil Baker said: “I think it’s really exciting to have this project passing through Pembrokeshire and it really plays into the green agenda.”
A number of conditions are included with the permission, which was approved by 15 votes in favour.
The plan has also required a separate application a marine licence for the off shore works which has been submitted to Natural Resources Wales.