A planning application has been made to build 2 extremely large electricity substations at the main Green Street entrance Bartonsham Meadows in Hereford City.

Residents of St James and Bartonsham and users of the local beauty spot have been shocked by the discovery.

The proposed structures are each nearly 11 x 8 x 10 ft with associated fencing and hardstanding and together will effectively block most of the frontage at the entrance to the Meadows.

Many Hereford people love this viewpoint across the fields to the river, with Dinedor and Aconbury Hills in the background – it will be completely blocked by large unsightly green resin structures on concrete bases.

The Bartonsham Meadows site was recently taken over by Hereford Wildlife Trust and a regeneration plan is being put in place.

To site electrical substations blocking the entryway seems completely inappropriate visually and practically. They will completely block access for vehicles needed to manage the land and the livestock that will soon be grazing there and take valuable refuge land needed for when the Meadows flood, which they do several times a year.

The very busy right of way (which is also part of The Wye Valley Way and Three Choirs Way long distance paths) runs immediately alongside and could be impacted. 

Residents are also concerned because electro-magnetic fields have been proven to impact negatively on health and transformers also emit noise. There are many houses and St James School within the recommended safe distances.

There has been no consultation with local community groups or the leaseholder (HWT) about this scheme and whether a more appropriate site can be found.

Work has started on rerouting the cables already, before planning permission has been sought for the substations. The two extremely large structures will massively increase capacity and members of the local community are wondering why this scale of development is needed. It seems a very underhand way of doing things.

St James and Bartonsham Community Association (JABA) are co-ordinating a campaign to object to this application, planning reference number 233134 – deadlne 7 March. Further details can be obtained from its secretary, Elaine Underwood at  secretary@jaba.org.uk, and on its facebook page.