Trees to be axed to build a electricity substation

Lees Yard, Hebden Bridge
Lees Yard, Hebden Bridge

Two trees are to be removed from an area next to the market in Hebden Bridge town centre to make way for an electricity substation.

Northern Powergrid is installing the structure next week as part of its efforts to boost the resilience of its network in the Upper Calder Valley following the Boxing Day floods of 2015 where several substations were affected by the unprecedented water levels, resulting in widespread power cuts.

Across the borough, the utility firm is working with Calderdale Council to install upgraded equipment at new sites that are less vulnerable to flooding and consolidating substations into fewer, better-protected locations.

The council says two trees will need to be removed from Lees Yard, next to the market, on Monday to make way for the substation, which is being moved from its current location in nearby Cheetham Street. All work on the installation is due to finish in early-to-mid December.

Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic strategy, said: “We continue to do everything we can to strengthen resilience across Calderdale’s communities and minimise the impact of any future flooding.

“This includes ensuring that local residents and businesses have a reliable electricity supply in extreme weather, so it’s important to locate substations away from areas that are more likely to flood.”

After assessing all the potential sites, and in consultation with Ward Councillors, the chosen location for the substation is in the Council-owned enclosed area next to Lees Yard in Hebden Bridge, near to where the market is held.

The trees will be removed on Monday November 5 2018 (a non-market day) from 7.30am to minimise disruption.

The work is estimated to take around half a day to complete. Northern Powergrid will plant replacement trees in an appropriate location at a later date.

Once the trees have been removed, Northern Powergrid will start work on the new substation building. It is anticipated that all work relating to the scheme will be completed by early to mid December.

Richard Bowers, Northern Powergrid’s West Yorkshire Zone Manager, said: “The work we’re doing in Hebden Bridge is part of a wider £1 million investment programme to make our network across the Calder Valley more secure, reliable and resilient.

"Local people will benefit by having an electricity supply that has increased protection from flooding and enables us to get the lights back on faster if there’s a power cut in the future.

“We’ve already completed much of the excavation work associated with moving our existing substation from Cheetham Street to this new location, but there may be some localised disruption while we complete the work.

"All footpaths and roads will be reinstated as quickly as possible. We’re committed to working closely with the local community and Calderdale Council to minimise disruption and will provide regular updates as to what’s happening where and when.

"We’ll also be directly contacting local businesses and residents who may be affected by the work.”