AQUIND Interconnector

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

AQUIND Interconnector

Received 17 February 2020
From Blake Morgan LLP on behalf of The Owners of Hillcrest

Representation

This Relevant Representation is submitted on behalf of the Owners of Hillcrest, Old Mill Lane, Lovedean ("the Property") who wish to be registered as an organisation Interested Party for the forthcoming examination of the AQUIND Interconnector Development Consent Order ("the DCO") application submitted by AQUIND Limited ("AQUIND"). The Property is located on the proposed site of the Converter Station (Section 1) and our clients oppose the DCO on the following grounds: 1. Loss of Amenity Our clients have lived at the Property for over 30 years and are now in their seventies. The Property comprises a 3 storey dwelling with balconies on every floor at the rear which look directly on to the proposed Converter Station site. Our clients value the rural setting with their views of the meadow at the rear and surrounding countryside and the wildlife that they can observe such as deer and kestrels. The field at the back of the Property slopes downwards in a southerly direction. At 26 metres high, the Converter Station will be clearly visible and have an overbearing impact as the Property will overlook down on to the site. The proposed landscaping will not grow sufficiently tall enough to screen the Converter Station and, in any event, will take at least 10 years before any such trees are able to provide any form of partial screening. The noise, light and dust produced during construction and the noise from the subsequent operation of the Converter Station will have a significant detrimental impact on their day-to-day lives. Options B(i) and B(ii) will both have a very similar impact as the Converter Station would be located directly behind the Property. Were the Converter Station to be located elsewhere, or at least further east, it would reduce that impact. 2. Compulsory Acquisition The compulsory acquisition element of the DCO will affect a total area measuring 12,852 square metres. Over 10,074 square metres (2.5 acres) are to be compulsorily purchased (Plot 1-23) and 2,778 square metres will be subject to permanent landscaping rights (Plots 1-11, 1-13, 1-15, 1-16, 1-17, 1-19 and 1-24). AQUIND have failed to demonstrate that the extent of the compulsory acquisition is necessary and proportionate, taking only what is required. AQUIND have failed to justify the need for permanent landscaping rights over the hedgerows when such hedgerows either run perpendicular to the Convertor Station or run alongside Old Mill Lane and offer no screening value to any residential properties. AQUIND have failed to demonstrate that all reasonable alternatives to compulsory acquisition have been explored. The disproportionate harm and loss to our clients' interests significantly outweighs any public benefit. Accordingly, AQUIND's proposed interference with our clients' rights is not justified having regard to Article 1 of the First Protocol to the ECHR and does not meet the tests for compulsory acquisition. Our clients are still willing to work with AQUIND to achieve agreement on reasonable terms to the satisfaction of both parties. However, if agreement is not reached the Owners of Hillcrest wish to maintain their objection. Our clients reserve the right to make further detailed representations during the Examination stage of the DCO application.