• Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please use the contact details provided to get in touch with the project team.

About AQUIND Interconnector

Why connect the UK and France?

The UK Government and the European Commission have identified that interconnectors are vital for achieving an integrated energy market in which families and firms get the best value for their money. These links will help achieve the Government’s ambition of widening access to international markets, thereby increasing competition and security of supply. France’s proximity to the UK makes it a logical linkage point for an interconnector and existing interconnectors between England and France have proven successful.

Why is the project needed?

It is estimated that AQUIND Interconnector will have sufficient capacity to transmit up to 16,000,000MWh of electricity annually between GB and France, accounting for approximately 5% and 3% of their respective total electricity consumption and enough to keep the lights on in up to 4 million British households.*

It will make a significant contribution to improving the security and sustainability of electricity supply and will help to make energy more affordable by improving competition and making Great Britain’s energy market more efficient, as well as helping to fight climate change by integrating more renewable energy sources.

*BEIS, Energy Consumption in the UK (ECUK) (2018): https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/729326/ECUK_
Tables_2018.xlsx

Why is the Proposed Development an NSIP?
In July 2018, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy issued a Section 35 direction meaning that consent to build and operate the Proposed Development could only be sought via the submission of an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) in accordance with The Planning Act 2008.

In issuing the Section 35 direction, the Secretary of State was of the opinion that the Proposed Development met the criteria to be considered as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) for the following reasons:

  • “The two giga-watt capacity of the proposed Development is similar in terms of electrical capacity to a generating station that would qualify to be considered under the Planning Act 2008 process as nationally significant.
  • “By progressing the proposed Development through the Planning Act 2008 development consent process, it would provide the certainty of a single, unified consenting process and fixed timescales.
  • “It will reduce the need to apply for separate consents from the Marine Management Organisation and local planning authorities.”

What role do local authorities have in the next part of the DCO process?
Host local authorities have an important role to play in the development of NSIPs and AQUIND is committed to engaging with all relevant local authorities throughout the planning process.

During the examination stage local authorities may provide representations on the local impact of the proposals and any other matters considered appropriate to the examining authority. The examining authority may seek written responses on matters concerning the proposals from the local authority and may also invite representatives of the local authorities to attend hearings on particular topics.

If development consent is granted, local authorities are typically responsible for discharging and monitoring many of the requirements (e.g. planning conditions) associated with an NSIP in their area.

How much will the project cost?

The project is estimated to cost £1.17bn.

How will the project be funded?

AQUIND is fully financed for the pre-construction stage of the project. Further finance will be attracted for the construction stage. AQUIND’s approach to funding is the standard industry approach for an infrastructure project of this kind and AQUIND is fully confident of being able to deliver the project.

AQUIND is not associated with any UK or European utilities or national electricity transmission system operators. AQUIND Interconnector is being developed as a private project without government subsidies.

What impact will Brexit have on the project?

The UK Government’s policy on interconnectors has not changed since the EU referendum in June 2016. More recently, the Government’s Brexit White Paper was clear in recognising the importance of continued interconnection as part of a broad energy cooperation between the UK and EU.

Will the project make energy prices cheaper in the UK?

AQUIND Interconnector will promote greater competition within the energy market, helping to reduce energy prices for consumers and businesses. Electricity prices will, however, ultimately be determined by market conditions and by individual energy suppliers.

How long will the project be operational for?

A minimum of 25 years, although the majority of equipment may have useful life of up to 40 years or more.

Timescales and Milestones

What happens next?

The anticipated timeline for the Proposed Development is as follows:

  • Late 2019 – Anticipated submission of the DCO application seeking the permission to build and operate AQUIND Interconnector. At the Acceptance stage, The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) will decide whether the application meets the requirements of the Planning Act 2008 to confirm whether it may proceed to the examination stage.
  • Autumn 2019 – Spring 2020 – At this stage, the public will be able to register their interest in the application with PINS and give their views on the application.
  • Spring 2020 – The Examination phase will begin, with PINS having up to six months to carry out the Examination.
  • Late 2020 – PINS will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State three months following the close of the examination, who will have a further three months to make the final decision, taking into account the local impacts of the proposals.
  • Early 2021 – If approved, construction works for AQUIND Interconnector will begin.
  • 2023 – AQUIND Interconnector will become operational.

When will the project be complete?

Construction of the project is expected to commence in 2021 and to be complete in 2023, with AQUIND Interconnector anticipated to be commissioned and operational by time.

What is happening on the French side?

AQUIND is in the process of applying for the planning permits in France in the course of 2019. It is expected that the planning permitting process in France will follow a similar timescale to the DCO in the UK.

What’s the story so far?

  • 2014 – Work on AQUIND Interconnector begins by identifying that an interconnector between the UK and France will be the most efficient and beneficial.
  • 2015 – National Grid confirms the existing Lovedean substation as the preferred connection point to the GB electricity network for AQUIND Interconnector.
  • 2016 – AQUIND signs connection agreement with National Grid to connect into the GB electricity network at the existing Lovedean substation and Ofgem grants an interconnector licence.
  • January 2018 – Public consultation on the emerging proposals for AQUIND Interconnector takes place.
  • April 2018 – AQUIND is awarded Project of Common Interest (PCI) status by the European Commission.
  • July 2018 – The Secretary of State directs that AQUIND Interconnector should be treated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).
  • February – April 2019 – AQUIND undertakes statutory consultation on its proposals in preparation for the submission of an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO).

Background to the Proposals and Alternatives Considered

Why was Lovedean identified as the preferred Converter Station location?

Lovedean substation was identified as the preferred connection location for AQUIND Interconnector following an assessment by National Grid, who have an obligation to develop and maintain an efficient, coordinated and economical electricity transmission network. The assessment considers factors such as National Grid’s knowledge of the existing network (including agreed future connections), agreed cost information, environmental considerations and other constraints associated with the project, alongside input from AQUIND on the details of the assets to be connected.

The converter station needs to be located as close as possible to the substation, in order to minimise the length of AC cable used as part of the Interconnector. This is because AC cables take up a much wider corridor of land when compared to DC cables. Therefore, in order to reduce the impacts of the proposals, it is favourable to maximise the use of DC cables, which take up a considerably narrower corridor. AC cables also have higher transmission losses and pose other technical challenges, meaning that a longer AC cable would reduce the benefits of the Interconnector.

Why was Eastney identified as the preferred landing point location?

Eastney was chosen as the preferred landfall location after an extensive optioneering process which took account of a wide range of factors.

The search for an appropriate landing point began in 2014 with 29 possible landing points being identified between Weymouth, in the west, and Bognor Regis, in the east.

When Lovedean was identified by National Grid as the preferred grid connection point (following their own feasibility study on grid connection), a total of seven potential landing points were prioritised accordingly. These landing points were then subjected to a further detailed study and site visits to assess their suitability and as a result of this work, Eastney, Hayling Island and East Wittering were shortlisted as potential landing points.

Hayling Island was subsequently removed from the shortlist. This was primarily due to the requirement to cross Chichester / Langstone Harbour at Langstone Bridge, which presented significant engineering and environmental constraints.

A more detailed review of East Wittering and Eastney locations was undertaken from a marine cable installation perspective in discussion with experienced marine installation contractors. East Wittering route was discontinued to the need for the route to go through ancient woodlands and other protected areas. Eastney was chosen as the preferred option as this minimised the length of the onshore cable route between the landfall location and converter station locations, which in turn minimised disruption and the impacts of the proposals.

Why not come ashore via Langstone Harbour?

Langstone Harbour was discounted as a potential landfall location due to the numerous environmental designations which protect the Harbour and surrounding area from development and help care for protected species.

This area is constrained by international designations, including the Chichester and Langstone Harbours Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site and Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and part of Solent and Isle of Wight Lagoons SAC, all of which are internationally protected sites (Natura 2000 sites). Langstone Harbour is also designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is of national importance. Accordingly, the existing environment protection regulations encourage all developments to avoid such areas.

Further, in engineering terms, the Harbour’s limited depth and composition renders it too unstable for the use of cable installation machinery. Trenching in extensive tidal mudflats is likely have significant environmental impacts on protected areas. Trenching operations would be particularly disruptive to any vessel traffic in this narrow channel – including recreational traffic, the Hayling Ferry, and marine aggregate vessels transiting to Langstone.

Why not come ashore at Hayling Island?

Hayling Island was discounted due to the environmental and technical constraints associated with the cable route crossing from Hayling Island to the mainland. It was also considered that Hayling landfall would have been more challenging and technically complex from a marine installation perspective.

Hayling Island is not technically feasible as a suitable crossing from Hayling Island to the mainland could not be identified. It was considered that the cables would not be able to be attached to Langstone Bridge or placed within the bridge deck and as traditional trenching techniques would disturb the protected and environmentally sensitive estuary.

The only other alternative option for this crossing was to use HDD techniques to allow the cable to be placed without disturbing the estuary. However, the HDD itself is complex due to insufficient land requirements either side of the estuary for the HDD plant.

We were previously asked whether it would be possible to achieve landfall at Hayling Island and cross Langstone Harbour to then run the cables on Portsea Island to avoid densely populated areas of Portsmouth. The bathymetry of the Langstone Harbour entrance (which would need to be crossed, when coming from Hayling island) was also considered very steep as it drops quickly over a relatively short distance (i.e. around 12-14 m). There is insufficient space for HDD operations to cross under the Harbour entrance without locating the HDD within ecologically protected areas on Hayling Island (SSSI).

Why was the existing Fawley substation discounted?

Fawley, one of the substations that was assessed by National Grid, was ultimately discounted due to:

  • Lack of sufficient capacity to accommodate the new interconnector connection; and
  • Requirement for additional grid reinforcement works.

The Onshore (Underground) Cable Route

Can I view a copy of the proposed cable route?

AQUIND presented its emerging onshore (underground) cable route to the local community at consultation events in January 2018.

We understand the sensitivities of traffic disruption. In response to the feedback received during our previous consultation, we have sought to identify alternative cable route options predominantly to minimise traffic disruption in constrained areas. You can view the proposed onshore (underground) cable route via the links below:

Red Line Boundary (RLB) overview>
Red Line Boundary (RLB) sections>

Further technical and environmental work is needed in some locations to further assess the feasibility of these options, however we are keen to receive feedback from the local community before making a final decision on the final underground cable route.

What are the main elements of the cable route?

The proposed corridor in which the onshore underground cable will be located runs from the proposed Converter Station at Lovedean to the Landfall site on the coast in Eastney – a route of approximately 20km. The basic apparatus to be installed within the cable corridor are:

  • 4x HVDC cables (laid in pairs);
  • 2x Fibre Optic Cables (approximately 35-55mm in diameter) and Fibre Optic Cable Infrastructure;
  • 2x Transition Joint Bays (TJBs) at the Landfall (to join the marine cables to the onshore cables);
  • Joint bays (located approximately every 600m to 2km along the cable route); and
  • Link boxes and link pillars or link cabinets at some joint bays (required approximately every 6km along the cable route).

What is the purpose of the fibre optic cable?

The fibre optic cables are required for communications between the Converter Stations in the UK and France and monitoring of the cables when operational. Spare fibres in these cables may also be used for commercial telecommunications purposes.

Will any cables pass underneath any homes or gardens?

The onshore underground cables will be laid within existing highways or verges where practicable. It is not intended that the cables will be laid within the boundary of any homes or gardens along the proposed cable route.

The only exception to this is ‘Southsea Holiday Home, Lodge & Leisure Park’, where it is proposed the cables will be located a significant distance beneath the Park (not less than 10m) using a trenchless HDD method (i.e. horizontal directional drilling). This approach should have no unacceptable impact on the residents of the Park and the necessary technical assessments are being undertaken to confirm that no such unacceptable impacts will arise as a consequence of those works.

How will CPO powers be used in relation to land owned by residents in Portsmouth?

The majority of the cables will be installed in the public highway, minimising the need for land to be acquired for the Proposed Development. However, some private land interests will be required to deliver the Proposed Development and AQUIND is committed to acquiring all interests by private agreement. AQUIND will be seeking powers of compulsory purchase as part of its application for development consent in the event that negotiations with land owners are unsuccessful.

Where residential landowners of houses adjoining the proposed cable route have been contacted by AQUIND, it is purely in their capacity as the presumed owner of highway subsoil. An easement will need to be acquired over the highway subsoil via compulsory acquisition, which will be without negotiation or the payment of compensation. This is because the relevant owner has no use or enjoyment of it, is not prejudiced by its use for the Proposed Development, and because the subsoil of a highway is not recognised to have any market value.

How will CPO powers be used in relation to land owned by Portsmouth City Council?

Some private land interests will be required to deliver the Proposed Development and AQUIND is committed to acquiring all interests necessary for its construction and operation, including those in the ownership of Portsmouth City Council, by way of private agreement.

With respect to the land owned by Portsmouth City Council, AQUIND will need to acquire easements rights to install the cable. As is standard practice for a DCO application, AQUIND will be seeking powers of compulsory purchase in the event negotiations with landowners are unsuccessful.

How will the cables be installed?

The majority of cables will be installed in excavated trenches (approx. 1m deep). There are four HVDC cables and two fibre optic cables to be installed. The cables will be installed in two separate trenches (also referred to as “circuits”). There will be two HVDC cables and one fibre optic cable per circuit.

To avoid the need to keep long sections of trench open to lay the cables, cable ducts will be installed in the trenches first, meaning the cables can be pulled through at a later date with relatively little impact or disruption to traffic.

Where the cable route is in or adjacent to a highway, the installation will require traffic management measures.

Where the cables cannot be installed by trenching, it is likely that HDD will be used. This is a trenchless installation method used to cross beneath areas where conventional construction methods cannot be used due to constraints, where other methods may cause damage, or where access is restricted.

How long will the cables take to install?

The cable ducts will be installed in sections of approximately 100m. Typically, the installation rate for cable ducts per circuit (or trench) is approximately 18m to 30m per day. It is estimated that it could take an average of 1 week to install the cable ducts for a 100m section. It is anticipated that more than one (up to six) 100m sections on the cable route may be constructed at the same time.

The installation of cable ducts is estimated to take approximately 18 months.

What impact will the project have on Bransbury Park?

AQUIND is currently considering a number of cable route options for the underground cable through and in the vicinity of Bransbury Park. A final decision on the preferred route has not yet been taken. AQUIND is currently considering all feedback received during its recent consultation with the local community, and is engaging with Portsmouth City Council and other stakeholders regarding the cable route options.

If Bransbury Park were to be selected, the cable would enter the park via Yeo Court or Kingsley Road. From here, the cable would be routed west of the footpath/cycleway, avoiding the recreational space and treeline where practicable, before exiting the park onto Bransbury Road via the southern boundary, near the junction with Henderson Road. In addition, AQUIND would implement appropriate mitigation measures to address and minimise the potential impacts on the park.

What traffic management measures will be used to reduce disruption?

It is inevitable that the installation of infrastructure in the highway will result in disruption. With that in mind, AQUIND is committed to devising and implementing traffic management measures to minimise the disruption to the transport network during construction.

An overall philosophy has been to keep at least one lane of traffic flowing and road closures to a minimum.

The approach to traffic management outlined below is intended to give an indication of the type of measures which may be employed during construction. A full traffic management strategy will be produced as part of the DCO application:

  • Where closure of one half of the carriageway is required, temporary traffic signals will be used to manage traffic. During peak hours, these traffic signals will be manually adjusted to ensure that delays are kept to a minimum. Three-way temporary traffic signals may be required but will be avoided where possible;
  • On dual-carriageway roads (such as Eastern Road), one lane of the carriageway will be closed intermittently where the cable cannot be installed within the footway or verges (with the closure relating to the section of the highway being worked on at that time only);
  • On wide single-carriageways (such as A3 London Road) it may be possible for two-way traffic to continue at a safe passing distance when the construction area is located within the existing bus lane;
  • In some instances, there will be insufficient space for traffic to safely pass the construction area, meaning a full road closure will be required. On residential streets these restrictions would be kept to a minimum, with temporary access allowed where possible. Where required, diversions will be agreed with the local highway authority;
  • Where pedestrian crossings are impacted by lane or full road closures, alternative crossing locations will be explored and provided;
  • Providing there would be no unacceptable impact on nearby properties, consideration will be given for opportunities to extended construction hours and/or night working to further minimise traffic disruption;
  • The programme for installing the cables will factor in major scheduled events (e.g. football matches), major shopping events (e.g. Christmas), and school term times where possible.

Will access to my home be affected during construction?

Vehicular access to properties may be restricted along certain parts of the route during cable installation. Pedestrian access will not be affected.

The extent of any restriction will depend upon the width of the road and the location of the trench in the road. The restriction would be for the duration of that section being worked on (typically about 1 week).

Further technical studies are ongoing to fully identify the potential impact on residents along the final cable route and to assess how those impacts can best be managed.

Will you need to dig up the cables again in the future?

Cable systems are reliable and typically require very little maintenance. Testing of the cable will be carried out at link box locations every two years along the cable route.

Why not lay the cables in existing utility ducts?

The underground cables require bespoke ducts to avoid any risk of overheating. Suppliers will not install cables in the existing infrastructure.

Will the cables generate an electromagnetic field?

The electromagnetic field strengths of the DC and AC cables are significantly below the relevant guidelines and fully compliant with International and UK health and safety standards.

The Converter Station Area

Why was the “western option” (Option B) selected as the preferred Converter Station site?

AQUIND’s selection of this site was based on a number of technical and environmental factors (e.g. ground investigations; preliminary acoustic investigations and modelling; design considerations; feasibility for access, engineering and construction works; assessment of environmental constraints, consideration of the findings of ecological surveys to date and a preliminary consideration of potential mitigation measures).

In addition, the feedback from the informal consultation in January 2018 indicated that the western option was favoured by the surrounding communities, which was also taken into account.

What is the size and footprint of the Converter Station?

The Converter Station is expected to be approximately 4ha potentially as a 200m x 200m square. Depending on the final design, it may have a height of up to 26m. It will be contained within a security fenced compound and a new access road would be created from Broadway Lane.

In addition, HVAC cables (of up to 400m in length), together with one fibre optic cable, will
be installed to connect the Converter Station to the existing National Grid Lovedean substation.
Two telecommunications buildings with a footprint of approximately 5m x 10m will be required to house equipment for the fibre optic cable.

Will there be any more pylons?

AQUIND Interconnector has purposefully been designed without any overhead lines. Burying the cable along the whole route avoids the need for the construction of overhead lines and their associated lasting visual impact.

Why are you not presenting a detailed Converter Station design?

It is important that some design flexibility is retained for when a construction contractor is appointed. To achieve that flexibility, the final design of the Converter Station will be confirmed after the grant of the DCO, and will be required to be in accordance with the spatial parameters and design principles set out in the DCO.

We are consulting on the spatial parameters and ‘design principles’ which the final design will be required to comply with. The detailed design would then be approved via a condition of the DCO, known as a ‘Requirement’.

Where can I see more images of how the Converter Station will look?

A set of parameters are being consulted upon to define the location and principles of the Converter Station. Detail is provided on p. 32 of the Consultation Document, with some indicative photomontages of a 22m Converter Station on p. 34 and 37. See also, figures 15.31 to 15.39 in the PEIR.

Why not sink the converter station into the ground?

Some levelling of the Converter Station site may be required and where this is the case the Converter Station may be sunk into the landscape. It is unlikely it will be feasible to substantially sink the Converter Station due to engineering and environmental constraints. For example, it is important not to exacerbate flood risks on the site, which would be difficult if the site level was lower than the surrounding landscape.

Furthermore, the excavation of soil to reduce the visible height of the building could require that surplus material that would need to be removed from the site. The disposal of material in this way is not desirable, and would generate additional vehicle movements during the construction. At present there is no intention to remove any soil from the site, to avoid excessive movements of heavy trucks, and the intention is to recycle material excavated during earthworks to assist with construction and screening where possible.

Will the Converter Station generate noise?

AQUIND recognises the importance of minimising noise impacts arising from the operation of the Converter Station. A preliminary optioneering assessment of the potential for noise impacts identified that the potential for impacts from operational noise associated with the western option (Option B) option was less than the other options considered, taking into account the surrounding environment.

The Converter Station will generate some noise (predominantly from the transformers). A further assessment of noise levels and how these can be mitigated has been carried out. Mitigation measures (such as acoustic enclosures, sound shields, acoustic lining and acoustic barriers) will be included to reduce noise impacts if necessary.

The proposed mitigation measures will be subject to further assessment to ensure that the noise limits agreed with the relevant local planning authorities are achieved.

Will the Converter Station be lit?

Normal night-time operation will not require lighting of the site, although lighting columns will be installed along the perimeter fence and around the outdoor equipment areas for emergency use only.

Will the Converter Station generate an electromagnetic field?

The electromagnetic field strengths of the DC and AC cables and the conversion process are significantly below the relevant guidelines and fully compliant with international and UK health and safety standards. As such, the Converter Station does not pose a threat to human health in respect of electromagnetic fields.

Will the Converter Station generate heat?

Any energy losses from the Converter Station occur in the form of waste heat. However, energy losses are anticipated to be very low and thus the impact on the surrounding environment is therefore expected to be minimal.

Will the Converter Station generate traffic?

Traffic during operation will be minimal and will consist of light vehicles. On rare occasions, larger vehicles may be required for maintenance/repair.

How long will the Converter Station take to build?

The construction of the Converter Station is expected to take place between 2021 and 2023, based on the current programme.

How many HGV movements will construction create?

At the peak of construction, up to 45 two-way HGV movements per day are envisaged, with up to 10 telescopic cranes and approximately 150 personnel on site. Some abnormal loads will be required to deliver plant and heavy items. Measures to deal with these vehicles will be included in a Construction Traffic Management Plan, to be developed in conjunction with Hampshire County Council.

What route will build traffic take to and from the site?

A Construction Traffic Management Plan will be developed with Hampshire County Council to ensure the impacts of these additional vehicle movements on the surrounding highway network are adequately mitigated. The Plan will identify construction routes, with which construction traffic will need to obey, is enforceable by the local highways authority. A proposed construction traffic route is contained at Figure 21.3> of the PEIR.

The Landfall

Where (precisely) is the landfall location?

The marine cables will make landfall in the triangular car park on Fort Cumberland Road (north of Eastney Beach) owned by Portsmouth City Council, where they will be joined to the onshore cables at the two transition joint bays.

At the landfall, the marine cables will be installed using Horizontal Direct Drilling (HDD), a trenchless installation method used to cross beneath areas where conventional construction methods cannot be used due to constraints, where other methods may cause damage, or where access is restricted. As a result, the landfall will have no direct impact on Eastney Beach, nor will any works take place on the beach such as trenching.

The car park will be utilised as a construction compound during the landfall works, and will result in the car park being unavailable during this period of construction. In addition to the transition joint bays, two additional buildings housing infrastructure related to the fibre optic cables (known as Optical Regeneration Stations) may be permanently located above ground within the car park if required. These would be approximately 4m x 8m x 3m in size, with secure fencing, access and parking for up to two vehicles for maintenance purposes.

Will the landfall be visible?

Following the works at landfall, the only visual impact following reinstatement of the ground following the installation of the cable route and Transition Joint Bays (TJBs), are likely to be the Optical Regeneration Stations (ORS) and associated telecommunications infrastructure which would result as a built feature in the landscape. The impact of the stations will be considered following detailed design considerations, and include, for example, mitigatory planting where appropriate to screen the stations within the landscape.

There will be no digging / excavation of trenches at Eastney Beach. Horizontal Direction Drilling (HDD) has been identified as the most suitable installation method to bring the marine cable onshore at Eastney. This avoids the need for any trenching operations on Eastney Beach or in the nearshore area.

Will you be digging up Eastney Beach to install the cable?

We will not be undertaking digging/excavation of trenches at Eastney Beach. We have identified HDD as the most suitable installation method to bring the marine cable onshore at Eastney. This avoids the need for any trenching operations on Eastney Beach or in the nearshore area.

The Marine Cable

How will the marine cable be installed?

Before the cable is laid, seabed debris will be cleared and surface boulders will be removed. The marine cables will then be installed from a cable lay vessel. The cables will be pulled overboard and on to the seabed.

Consultation

How will AQUIND consult? 

AQUIND is committed to engaging with stakeholders regarding its proposals and is consulting on its proposals for AQUIND Interconnector between Wednesday 27 February and Monday 29 April 2019. The consultation documents are available to view here>, together with details on how you can provide feedback.

Consultation is an important part of the Development Consent process and the Planning Act 2008 requires developers of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) to publicise their proposals widely and consult with the local community, local authorities, statutory bodies, other prescribed persons and persons with an interest in land potentially affected by the proposals.

Before accepting the application for examination on behalf of the Secretary of State, PINS must be satisfied that adequate pre-application consultation has been conducted. Prior to the public consultation taking place, AQUIND has published a Statement of Community Consultation> (SoCC) setting out how it proposes to consult with the local community on its DCO application.

All comments submitted during the consultation will be recorded and carefully considered by AQUIND and will be taken into account when further developing the proposal. An explanation of how the comments received have been taken into account will be detailed in the Consultation Report submitted as part of the application for Development Consent.

When and where are the public exhibition events?

Details of the public exhibition events is provided in the Consultation Newsletter>.

Where are the deposit locations?

Details of the deposit locations s is provided in the Consultation Newsletter>.

Can you send me a copy of the consultation documents?

The easiest way to access the consultation documents is via the website here>.

Copies of the consultation documents may be requested via the contact on this page. Where copies of the consultation documents are requested, they can be provided free of charge on a USB Memory Stick. Hard copies of the consultation documents can be provided on request (subject to printing and delivery costs).

Can you provide the consultation documents in alternative or large-print formats?

If you require the consultation documents in an alternative format, please contact the project team using the details provided on the right-hand side of this page

How can I submit feedback?

Feedback can be submitted using the feedback forms available at public exhibition events.

Feedback can also be submitted via the online feedback form (www.aquindconsultation.co.uk). Copies of the feedback form can be downloaded from the website and returned via the Freepost address (FREEPOST AQUIND CONSULTATION) or via the consultation email address (aquindconsultation@becg.com). Comments can also be submitted in writing via the Freepost address or via the consultation email address.

The project team can be contacted via the Freephone number (01962 893 869) with any queries.

When is the deadline for feedback?

The deadline for feedback is midnight on Monday 29 April 2019. Postal responses will be accepted up to three working days after this deadline and responses received after this
date will not be taken into consideration.

Please note that responses or other representations may be made public.

How will my feedback be taken into account?

All feedback received during the consultation will be recorded and carefully considered by AQUIND. An explanation of how feedback received has been considered will be detailed in a Consultation Report which will be submitted as part of the DCO application.

The Land Interest Questionnaire (LIQ) Process

What is the Land Interest Questionnaire (LIQ) and why have you sent these to people?

AQUIND Limited has a legal duty to carry out diligent inquiries to identify all owners of land that might be affected by the Development Consent Order (‘DCO’) application for AQUIND Interconnector. This includes not only those who own freehold interests, but also those who occupy or have interests in the land in other capacities.

The purpose of this exercise is to identify those persons who have an interest in the land potentially affected by AQUIND Interconnector so as to allow those persons to be consulted directly by AQUIND regarding the Proposed Development and their comments taken into account and addressed as necessary prior to an application for Development Consent being finalised. The information gathered will also be used to assist with the production of documentation to be submitted in support of the application for the DCO.

Why have I received an LIQ and others haven’t?

The LIQ was only issued to people with an interest in the land that is understood to be potentially affected by the proposals for AQUIND Interconnector.

 Where did you source my information from?

The information gathered to date has been sourced from public records, such as HM Land Registry. Your information will be used for the purpose of fulfilling statutory obligations in connection with the project, including to contact you to keep you informed of the proposals, and to engage further with you in connection with the proposals for AQUIND Interconnector.

Why is my information outdated?

We have pre-populated the LIQs with information obtained through HM Land Registry and the information will reflect the information they currently hold.  Sometimes this information can be outdated, therefore it is important that we gather up to date information so that we may consult with all persons with an interest in the land potentially affected by the proposals for AQUIND Interconnector.

Please let the team at WSP know if you think any of the information provided with the LIQ is incorrect. WSP may be contacted by e-mail at aquindinterconnector@wsp.com or by telephone on 020 3116 9389.

Why do AQUIND want information regarding my property?

As part of the planning process, AQUIND are required to identify and consult with all those parties that have a legal interest in land potentially affected by the project.  Those parties with a legal interest in land include owners, tenants, occupiers, mortgage interests, beneficiaries and parties holding rights over the land.

Why do AQUIND require mortgagee details?

We need to ensure that all interests in land that may be affected by the proposals for AQUIND Interconnector are consulted.  As mortgage companies have a registered interest in properties we need to ensure that they are identified and consulted on the proposals in the same way as the owner of the property.

Am I required to fill out the LIQ? What will happen if I choose not to?

There is no duty for you to complete the LIQ, however we encourage you to do so to ensure the information held is up to date and correct and so that all future communication regarding the proposals for AQUIND Interconnector can be directed towards the correct persons.

Environmental Information

What is being done to mitigate any environmental impacts?

The Preliminary Environmental Impact Report> (PEIR) presented as part of this consultation contains the preliminary environmental information that we have collated and assessed to date.

In addition we are voluntarily undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and will submit an Environmental Statement (ES) in support of our application. The ES will identify any likely significant environmental effects of the project, together with the proposed mitigation.

How will the Proposed Development impact air quality in Portsmouth?

A preliminary assessment of the potential air quality impacts of the Proposed Development was undertaken to inform the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) – one of the consultation documents produced as part of AQUIND’s February – April 2019 consultation.

The preliminary assessment considered the potential impacts on amenity and human health from:

  • Dust caused during the construction stage;
  • Changes in pollution levels due to exhaust emission from construction vehicles;
  • Changes in pollution levels due to exhaust emissions from car delayed due to construction works and traffic management.

It concluded that the construction of the Proposed Development would have a negligible impact on air quality.

AQUIND is also voluntarily undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and will submit an Environmental Statement (ES) in support of its DCO application. The ES will identify any likely significant environmental effects of the Proposed Development, together with the proposed mitigation. This will include a construction dust risk assessment following guidance issued by the Institute of Air Quality Management. Changes in traffic on the local road network from generated construction vehicles and diverted traffic will be screened to determine their likely impact on local air quality. This will be completed by applying screening criteria to the traffic flow data provided by the traffic assessment. The criteria will be agreed with the relevant local authority Environmental Health departments.

Did this preliminary assessment take account of the existing air quality issues in Portsmouth?

The preliminary assessment was informed by local monitoring figures provided by Portsmouth City Council as part of their Local Air Quality Management obligations, together with background maps provided by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) where there was an absence of local monitoring figures.
The preliminary assessment took a conservative approach and assumed that the existing pollution levels across the entire project were equivalent to those in Portsmouth, where pollution levels are higher due to the urban environment in this location.

It concluded that the construction of the Proposed Development would have a negligible impact on air quality.

How will air quality impacts be mitigated in Portsmouth?

The most effective mitigation will be achieved by ensuring that construction traffic does not pass along sensitive roads (e.g. residential roads, congested roads, via unsuitable junctions) where possible, and that vehicles are kept clean through the application of water, and sheeted when on public highways. Timing of abnormal loads movements to avoid peak hours on the local road network will also be beneficial.

Where the underground cable is being installed within or immediately adjacent to roads, the installation will require traffic management, which will be agreed and approved by the relevant local authority. This provides the opportunity to minimise air emissions through traffic management measures aimed at minimising idling during queuing and slow-moving idling traffic.

AQUIND is voluntarily undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and will submit an Environmental Statement (ES) in support of its DCO application. The ES will identify any likely significant environmental effects of the Proposed Development, together with the proposed mitigation. This will include a construction dust risk assessment following guidance issued by the Institute of Air Quality Management. Changes in traffic on the local road network from generated construction vehicles and diverted traffic will be screened to determine their likely impact on local air quality. This will be completed by applying screening criteria to the traffic flow data provided by the traffic assessment. The criteria will be agreed with the relevant local authority Environmental Health departments.

Will the Proposed Development result in the loss of open space in Portsmouth?

As part of the recent consultation, AQUIND sought feedback on a number of underground cable route options which were identified primarily to minimise traffic disruption, following feedback received from the local community at our January 2018 consultation.

These newly identified cable route options were developed following feedback from stakeholders, including Portsmouth City Council, and AQUIND welcomes continued engagement with all affected local authorities throughout the planning process to address concerns.

In devising the cable route options under consideration, AQUIND has sought to avoid footpaths, cycleways and green space wherever practicable. In a small number of locations it may be necessary to route the cable through green spaces, such as Milton Common and Bransbury Park. A final decision on the onshore underground cable route has not yet been taken, however any roads or green spaces directly affected would be restored following completion of construction.

Construction Information

How will any construction impacts be managed?

The construction of AQUIND Interconnector has the potential to give rise to impacts during the construction period. AQUIND will be assessing the impacts that may arise during the construction period as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, and will outline any proposed measures to mitigate those impacts within the Environmental Statement. In developing the proposals, AQUIND will work closely with the relevant authorities to implement any necessary mitigation measures to address the impacts of the construction of AQUIND Interconnector.

Information regarding the potential impacts arising from the construction of AQUIND Interconnector and how it is intended those impacts will be mitigated is contained within the Preliminary Environmental Impact Report> (PEIR) presented as part of this consultation.

Contacting Us

How can I get in touch with any questions?

If you have any queries, please speak to a member of the project team here today or contact us via the contact details below:

  • Call us: 01962 893869 (Mon to Fri, 09:00-17:30)
  • Email us: aquindconsultation@becg.com
  • Write to us: AQUIND CONSULTATION (no stamp required)

I have been unable to contact the information line

At some periods we have been receiving a higher than usual volume of calls. Where a call cannot be taken due to all call handlers being engaged with other queries, or when a call is made outside of staffed hours (9am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday) an answerphone system is in operation to enable us to return your call, which we endeavour to do as soon as possible.

All calls missed as a result of high volumes of calls are being systematically returned to ensure we can speak with members of the public as soon as possible.