Fears power cable work will hit trade
PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 September 2016
Fears have been expressed that the tourist trade could be hit by work on a cross-Channel power cable - planned to run under Budleigh Salterton beach and along the Otter Valley.
A consultation ends on Monday (September 5) over the planned FAB Link, which will see power shared between France and Britain via Alderney.
Under the proposal, an ‘interconnector’ will run under Budleigh beach and alongside the River Otter up to a transformer near Exeter Airport.
Former Otter Valley Association chairman Helen Tickle has raised fears over the project, suggesting there could be disruption to the town’s summer tourist season and the landscape surrounding the work.
She said: “All the documents relating to the project are implied in very positive and reassuring terms and assert that the environmental impact of the excavations and reinstatement will be ‘negligible’.
“Experience leads me to the view that, in the short run, the local impact will be considerable and that very strict and enforceable controls need to be imposed on any such work in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“I trust that the relevant authorities will consider the impact on the year-round tourist industry when our beach and footpaths are to be excavated and the Lime Kiln car park is to be temporarily reduced in size - although not in July and August.”
In response, FAB Link development manager Chris Jenner said: “In order to minimise inconvenience to local residents and businesses, we will schedule work at the landfall at Budleigh Salterton beach to avoid the busy months of July and August, and access to the Lime Kiln car park, and all public rights of way, will be maintained at all times.”