UKPN works with Kent Downs AONB to underground power lines

UK Power Networks has invested £3.2 million on upgrading underground power lines in Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) over the last 10 years.

UKPN works with Kent Downs AONB to underground power lines

The AONB unit’s partnership with Kent’s electricity distributor, UK Power Networks, has seen 15 miles of overhead power lines routed underground.

As the AONB unit celebrates its 50th anniversary, it can look back at 12 projects that have transformed some of the best loved landscapes in the Kent Downs.

Snodland, Cuxton, Chartham Downs, Folkestone, Westerham, Saltwood, St Margaret’s at Cliffe, Cobham Park, Detling, Hucking, Ightham Mote and Throwley have all had schemes to replace overhead power lines with underground cables.

Each scheme was picked by environmental experts at Kent Downs AONB, working hand-in-hand with UK Power Networks, who carried out the technical work, gained the necessary legal consents for new underground cabling, then its specialist engineers carried out the work.

UK Power Networks has worked with Kent Downs AONB since 2005 to underground power lines through the company’s special fund, which is used in national parks and AONB areas.

Shaun Barrell, protected areas project manager at UK Power Networks, said: “Kent Downs is one of the founding members of our Undergrounding Steering Group and has remained a committed member of the group from the outset. We are proud of the results we have achieved together and continue to work closely on future projects which will deliver further environmental benefits for the area.

“It is always exciting to work on these schemes, which have an immediate and dramatic impact on nationally-important landscapes. Cabling is crucial because we all rely on electricity to go about our daily lives, and it’s very rewarding to work with Kent Downs AONB to carry out these projects which enhance the landscape.”

Tim Owen, from Kent Downs AONB unit, added: “The purpose of the AONB designation is to protect and enhance these important landscapes. By working with UK Power Networks on these projects we are directly achieving this. Undergrounding overhead power lines now forms an important and exciting part of the work of the AONB unit, we look forward to continued work with UK Power Networks and seeing more overhead cable removed from the landscape.”


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