Work at Churchill
We started work in June 2018 to upgrade the existing electricity substation at Churchill. This needs to be done to maintain and reinforce the security of the electricity network in the South West, before we remove the existing overhead line from Bridgwater to Avonmouth, owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD).
WPD and its contractors are carrying out this work on our behalf as they own and maintain the local electricity distribution network.
We are carrying out this work in two separate stages:
Upgrading Churchill substation, Summer 2018 – Spring 2020
Work to upgrade WPD’s substation at Churchill began in June 2018.The groundwork was completed by local contractor, Grant Construction, based in Congresbury.
WPD has been installing new electrical equipment and making the electrical modifications inside the substation.
Modifying the electricity network to the east of the substation, Spring 2019 – Spring 2020
In May 2019, WPD started work on the overhead line that passes to the east of the substation. This work is taking place outside the substation and includes installing 220 metres of underground cable and replacing an existing pylon with a cable sealing end (CSE) pylon. This will join the new underground cable to the overhead wires within the substation.
WPD appointed specialist contractors to carry out this work.
- Grant Construction carried out the groundwork by building a temporary construction compound and the temporary traffic access point and haul road off from Iwood Lane.
- Excalon is installing the 220 metres of underground cable, and Balfour Beatty is working on the overhead line and replacing the existing pylon.
Before starting construction activity, we carried out a small amount of enabling work, which included pre-condition surveys, minor vegetation and fencing removal, and reconfiguration of WPD’s existing wood pole overhead lines in this area.
Access and traffic management
To view a map showing the temporary traffic access point and haul road, please click here.
We’ve created a temporary traffic access point off Iwood Lane and a temporary haul road, which is needed for access to the underground cable and overhead line work. The haul road allows us to move traffic off the main roads directly into the construction area.
Project vehicles travel to our temporary construction site from junction 22 of the M5, A38, onwards along Stock Lane and turn into site from Iwood Lane.
Owing to the scale and nature of this build, the impact on local roads will be minimal.
Temporary construction compound
A small area of land to the east of the substation is being used as a temporary construction compound.
The compound includes site offices, an area for storing construction equipment and materials, staff parking and welfare facilities. Access to this site is from Iwood Lane.
Cable sealing end (CSE)
To join the new underground cable to the existing overhead wires, we need to build a new CSE pylon. This will replace the existing lattice pylon.
The new CSE pylon will consist of low-level metal supports and will be erected on small concrete pads. Temporary scaffolding and fencing will be required around its base to create a safe working area.
Our agreed standard working hours are between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm on weekends.
Most work will be carried out on weekdays, although there may be occasions when we’ll need to work at weekends or outside the standard hours. These may include when we are working on a continuous process such as cable jointing, or if adverse weather or ground conditions cause delays, or to avoid traffic delays during the week, but there are restrictions to this.
Protecting the environment
National Grid is committed to protecting the natural environment and we recognise the potential impacts our construction work may have.
To reduce and mitigate these impacts, we’ve carried out extensive surveys and have discussed the best ways to carry out the work with specialists from Natural England, Historic England, local authorities and many others.
Before we started work, we took steps to reduce disruption to wildlife and animals. These included installing great crested newt fencing and badger gates, and removing and strimming vegetation to prevent birds, water voles and dormice nesting in areas where we’ll be working.
Landscaping and reinstatement
Once all the work is complete, the temporary traffic access point, haul road and construction compound will be removed. The land will be reinstated and returned to its original use with trees and hedgerows replaced at a ratio of 4 to 1. Wherever possible, we’ll replant in the same location. Where this is not possible, we’ll plant at an agreed location nearby.
To help reduce the overall impact of the new connection and enhance local landscape and biodiversity, we’re running a scheme for landowners to host additional native tree and hedgerow planting.
We will update this website regularly and keep local businesses informed. If you have any further enquiries, please visit our contact us page and get in touch.
Select points on the timeline below for details of what is happening at each stage of work.
Work started to upgrade Churchill substation.
Excavation and foundation work.
Installation of electrical equipment.
Pre-condition surveys, minor vegetation and fencing removal and reconfiguration of WPD’s existing wood pole overhead lines.
Modifying the electricity network to the east of the substation. Preparing for start of construction activities: installing drainage, setting up a construction compound and building a traffic access point and haul road.
Set up of site and installation of underground cable and new CSE pylon needed.
Underground cable testing and commissioning.
Removal of the existing lattice pylon.
We’ll remove the temporary traffic access point, the haul road and construction compound before reinstating and landscaping the area. Expect to complete during spring 2020.