Concern over electricity works at Walthamstow and Leyton marshes

Walthamstow Marshes Nature Reserve

Walthamstow Marshes Nature Reserve

First published in Waltham Forest East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

CONCERNS have been raised about an electricity firm's plans to dig 50 metre deep holes in green spaces including a nature reserve.


The National Grid wants to carry out works on Walthamstow and Leyton Marshes as part of a seven-year project to install new power cables deep underground.


It plans to drill a tunnel all the way from a substation near the Hackney side of Lea Bridge Road to the marshes before curving north west through Stamford Hill and Finsbury Park, but the firm said it needs to investigate the earth first.

The company says it will dig a series of boreholes, which will be 50m deep and 30cm wide, along the route.

The areas affected will be fenced off while work is carried out and the holes will be covered when completed. However staff will return to them “occasionally” to check on them in future.

The National Grid says works in Waltham Forest will take around 26 days to complete, but has not provided details of the exact locations or when the digging will take place.

It is also unclear how many holes it plans to dig.

Environmentalists have expressed concern about the impact of the works and say it is another example of further meddling with north east London's wild green spaces.
 

It comes after complaints about a temporary sports hall built on Leyton Marsh during the Olympics, where the land is yet to be returned to its original condition as promised by Games bosses.
 

Caroline Day, of the Save Leyton Marsh campaign, said: “Our concerns are not just about what the National Grid wants to do, it's more that previously undisturbed green spaces are becoming increasingly interfered with.
 

“There's an attitude now that these agencies can dig up land and then just put a bit of turf on the top afterwards and expect everything to return to normal.


“But if a wild habitat is disturbed then some species will often never return, which is particularly bad when they are rare.”


Campaigners are also concerned by the National Grid statement's that the underground tunnels “will significantly reduce disruption to the local area as we are able to lay the cables and carry out maintenance work without digging up the road network.”


Ms Day said: “If their main motivation is not to disturb the road network then that is a genuine concern, it says a lot about their priorities. And it raises questions about if they will dig up the marshes again in future”.


The National Grid says the new cabling is necessary for it to keep up with rising demand for electricity in London.

A spokesman said: "On a complex engineering project such as this, it is vital that we have a detailed understanding of the ground conditions we will be tunnelling through.
 

"Therefore a series of boreholes have been dug along the tunnel route to ensure we have accurate and reliable ground condition information.
 

"Our borehole investigations at the Leyton and Walthamstow Marshes are part of this work and will take approximately 26 days to complete."

He added: "National Grid is committed to treading carefully wherever we carry out our work.

"We always endeavour to deliver our vital work as sensitively as possible and are always mindful of the natural environment."

Comments (7)

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9:49am Thu 22 Nov 12

Techno3 says...

These firms always claim 'sensitivity' to the environment and then use acres of dayglow and ugly great fencings which they plaster with horrid signage. Civil engineers don't know the meaning of the word 'sensititity' just like they rarely give a monkey's about the 'natural environment'. Announcements like this are usually lip service.
These firms always claim 'sensitivity' to the environment and then use acres of dayglow and ugly great fencings which they plaster with horrid signage. Civil engineers don't know the meaning of the word 'sensititity' just like they rarely give a monkey's about the 'natural environment'. Announcements like this are usually lip service. Techno3
  • Score: 0

9:52am Thu 22 Nov 12

Techno3 says...

Techno3 wrote:
These firms always claim 'sensitivity' to the environment and then use acres of dayglow and ugly great fencings which they plaster with horrid signage. Civil engineers don't know the meaning of the word 'sensititity' just like they rarely give a monkey's about the 'natural environment'. Announcements like this are usually lip service.
And my fat fingers can't spell it either this morning. Sensitivity.
[quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: These firms always claim 'sensitivity' to the environment and then use acres of dayglow and ugly great fencings which they plaster with horrid signage. Civil engineers don't know the meaning of the word 'sensititity' just like they rarely give a monkey's about the 'natural environment'. Announcements like this are usually lip service.[/p][/quote]And my fat fingers can't spell it either this morning. Sensitivity. Techno3
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Sam Hain says...

I like sensititity, Techno3, as these projects so often go t*ts up (I know this word is a species of bird but with this prudish website on can never be too careful so I'll asterisk it myself to be on the safe side). Whilst I was and am failry relaxed about the temporary basketball facility, which was built on a football pitch anyway, but this is of a different scale. I would applaud it if it were to put the hideous overhead cables underground and get rid of the pylons as they did in the Lower Lea Valley for the Olympics but if this is just going to benefit the privatised energy companies then I'm not convinced. This articles opening paragraph says "to dig 50 metre deep holes" but then quotes a National Grod spokesperson saying "a series of boreholes". There is a massive differnece between digging a 50foot hole and boring down 50 feet. If it is the latter, I think this can be achieved withe minimum disturbance but what about the tunelling itself? Can that be achieved with entirely undeground tunnelling machines or will they have to break the surface in the Park. If the latter, then that will cause major disruption, which would be unacceptable. More details please. Sadly, though, while we go on demanding ever more electricity to power our 'gizmos' something will have to give, and I fear it will be the environment rather than the latest tablet or blackberry.
I like sensititity, Techno3, as these projects so often go t*ts up (I know this word is a species of bird but with this prudish website on can never be too careful so I'll asterisk it myself to be on the safe side). Whilst I was and am failry relaxed about the temporary basketball facility, which was built on a football pitch anyway, but this is of a different scale. I would applaud it if it were to put the hideous overhead cables underground and get rid of the pylons as they did in the Lower Lea Valley for the Olympics but if this is just going to benefit the privatised energy companies then I'm not convinced. This articles opening paragraph says "to dig 50 metre deep holes" but then quotes a National Grod spokesperson saying "a series of boreholes". There is a massive differnece between digging a 50foot hole and boring down 50 feet. If it is the latter, I think this can be achieved withe minimum disturbance but what about the tunelling itself? Can that be achieved with entirely undeground tunnelling machines or will they have to break the surface in the Park. If the latter, then that will cause major disruption, which would be unacceptable. More details please. Sadly, though, while we go on demanding ever more electricity to power our 'gizmos' something will have to give, and I fear it will be the environment rather than the latest tablet or blackberry. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Sam Hain says...

PS: How do you like National Grod?!
PS: How do you like National Grod?! Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Techno3 says...

Sam Hain wrote:
PS: How do you like National Grod?!
I looked it up. Interestingly, its not an Anglo-Saxon term for sludgy oatmeal gruel.

http://www.urbandict
ionary.com/define.ph
p?term=Grod
[quote][p][bold]Sam Hain[/bold] wrote: PS: How do you like National Grod?![/p][/quote]I looked it up. Interestingly, its not an Anglo-Saxon term for sludgy oatmeal gruel. http://www.urbandict ionary.com/define.ph p?term=Grod Techno3
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Thu 22 Nov 12

mdj says...

'PS: How do you like National Grod?'

Wasn't that something that the government brought in at about the same time as Snoek? Groundnuts were a major ingrodient.
'PS: How do you like National Grod?' Wasn't that something that the government brought in at about the same time as Snoek? Groundnuts were a major ingrodient. mdj
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Sam Hain says...

Oh dear, so I see, Techno 3. I suppose it is at least appropriate in the context of boreholes!
Oh dear, so I see, Techno 3. I suppose it is at least appropriate in the context of boreholes! Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

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