Government gives go-ahead for Wormington to Sapperton gas pipeline

National Grid has received consent from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to construct a new natural gas pipeline in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

Linking National Grid's existing installations at Wormington (near Broadway) and Sapperton (near Cirencester), the essential 44 km, 900mm-diameter (36”) pipeline will meet the growing demand for reliable and economic gas supplies in the South West of England by next winter.

Over the next few months, National Grid will be undertaking pre-construction work such as the delivery of pipes to prepared storage areas, coppicing hedges and developing accesses. Weather permitting, main construction work will start in March 2010, this involves fencing the working area (the ‘spread’), removing and storing topsoil, and digging a trench, which will be backfilled once the pipeline has been laid.

It is anticipated that the pipeline will be in operation by the end of September 2010, although reinstatement of the land may continue after this time.

“We are pleased that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has acknowledged the need for this essential pipeline,” said senior project manager Ian Sarson.

“The final route was carefully chosen after extensive investigations and discussions. We sought the views of landowners and other consultees such as English Nature, the Cotswolds Conservation Board (CCB), the Environment Agency, local authorities and many local countryside, farming and conservation groups. Now that we have received consent, we will continue to work closely with them and with local communities affected by our works to ensure they are kept informed as work progresses.”

“Care for the environment is extremely important to National Grid and we are committed to effectively managing and monitoring all of our works. Our ultimate aim is to restore all of the land to its original pre-construction condition as soon as possible after the pipeline is in the ground,” Ian continued.

Martin Lane, Director at the Cotswolds Conservation Board said: “Not surprisingly the Board is disappointed that the route selected will go through so much of the AONB. The Board had objected to the route and challenged the route selection assessment. Nonetheless the Board accepts the department’s decision and will work with National Grid to ensure that the environmental qualities of the Cotswolds are safeguarded and where possible enhanced, during the construction of the pipeline.”

Throughout the project, all work within the Cotswolds AONB will be monitored by a consultant working on behalf of the CCB as part of the pipeline team to ensure that all work meets the conditions set by DECC. To help with their understanding of the unique features of the Cotswolds, members of the project team recently undertook a two-day dry stone walling course run by the CCB.

Local people who wish to know more about the pipeline can call the freephone project information line on 0800 731 0561, email enquiries@sw-rp.co.uk or visit the project website at: http://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/Gas/Pipelines

ENDS

Further media information from Caroline Davidson, Project Communications on 07785 254696.

Note to Editors:
Wormington to Sapperton Pipeline Key Facts
Length: 44km (28miles)
Diameter: 900mm (36 inches)
Timescale: Construction will start in spring 2010 for completion at the end of October 2010.
 

National Grid
National Grid is an international electricity and gas company and one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. We play a vital role in delivering gas and electricity to millions of people across Great Britain and northeastern US in an efficient, reliable and safe manner. We believe the power of action can play a major role in safeguarding our global environment for future generations and tackling the effects of climate change, providing all our customers with the highest standards of service through network investment and through our talented, diverse workforce.

National Grid owns the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales and operates the system across Great Britain. It also owns and operates the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain and its distribution business delivers gas to 11 million homes and businesses.

National Grid manages the National Gas Emergency Service freephone line 0800 111 999.

Cotswolds Conservation Board
The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 37 members, 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by Government.

The Cotswolds AONB is the third largest protected landscape in England and Wales after the Lake District and Snowdonia and the largest of the family of 49 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.