There is currently insufficient electricity capacity in the area to support the full planned development of 2,500 houses around Matford.
Devon County Council and National Grid have now put forward a detailed joint planning application that would see the substation operational in 2026.
An example of development plans running ahead of infrastructure. – Owl
Paul Greaves www.devonlive.com
Plans have been submitted for a new electricity substation to power thousands of new houses on the outskirts of Exeter. Devon County Council says the bulk supply point at Matford Home Farm is essential to support the large housing extension to the city between Alphington and Exminster.
Housing development in the area has been taking shape off the A379 for several years. Hundreds of houses have already been built and many more are in the pipeline. But there is currently insufficient electricity capacity in the area to support the full planned development of 2,500 houses around Matford.
Devon County Council and National Grid have now put forward a detailed joint planning application that would see the substation operational in 2026. The proposed scheme is for the construction of a 132kV-33kV -11kV bulk supply point electricity substation, operational electricity plant, substation access road and surface water drainage. A planning application document sets out the principles of the plan which can be viewed online.
It says: “The proposed scheme would be located in Teignbridge district and Exeter City and forms part of the SWE urban extension which would provide 2,500 homes across Exeter (500) and Teignbridge (2,000) and well as five hectares of employment land.
“The scheme would provide key infrastructure which would enable the building of homes and employment space in the urban extension area and would help enable the delivery of the objectives set out in the Teignbridge Local Plan and Exeter Local Plan.
“The substation is required as it is understood that there is insufficient electricity capacity in the area to support the full development of SWE. This would also impact future development proposals, such as Exeter City Council’s ‘Liveable Exeter’ project. Therefore, this development is essential in providing the infrastructure to enable the development of SWE and delivering the policies and aims of the Teignbridge Local Plan and Exeter Local Plan.”
The proposed site near Old Matford Lane extends to nearly three hectares over an extensive yard area currently occupied by with a range of agricultural buildings and a farm shop. Much of the farmland surrounding the plot is currently being transformed by different housing developers as part of the wider SWE scheme. Existing power supply equipment is reaching the limits of its capability and will not cope with the expansion, says the National Grid.
The council says: “Future demand for electricity is expected to increase from 2025, when it is expected that new homes will no longer be able to have gas boilers, with the alternative likely to be heat pumps powered by electricity.
“Similarly, from 2030 new petrol and diesel cars will not be sold resulting in additional electricity required for charging. A new bulk supply point is expected to provide sufficient capacity to meet future demands. The scale of the proposed substation accords with other locations in Devon, where similar upgrades are required to meet future need.
“The proposed electricity substation aims to be operational by 2026, to serve the SWE development and future growth. In summary, the capacity of existing electricity infrastructure has been fully utilised and this, in combination with the expected future electricity need, requires significant scale upgrades to the electricity network.”
A public consultation has already taken place on the plans, which have been submitted to Devon County Council for determination. Concerns have been raised by residents living in established homes nearby about noise and light pollution. One resident said he was ‘astonished’ the site is considered suitable considering its history of flooding.
He added: “This planned substation is quite simply in the wrong location. It may be the cheapest option for Devon County Council, but it’s clearly not the best option for the hundreds of residents living in the area.”
If there is no electricity clearly development has to stop. Exeter’s Matford development has tnow been put on hold. What about the sewage treatment for 2,500 new houses? Have studies been carried out? If there was a problem would this halt development?
I rather think not. After all there is no urgency, just open the sluice gates.