National Grid submits planning applications for phase two of multi-million pound tunnels project in South London

December 2018

We have recently submitted planning applications to several London Boroughs as part of our London Power Tunnels phase 2 project to rewire the Capital.

We are planning to build a new network of cable tunnels in South London, 32.5km in length, between Wimbledon and Crayford. The works are essential in order to replace existing electricity circuits which are coming towards the end of their useful life. This new project is called London Power Tunnels phase 2 (LPT2) and follows the success of our original London Power Tunnels project (LPT1), a seven-year £1 billion scheme to rewire the Capital.

The submission of our planning applications follows a series of public information events which were held at various locations across the route earlier this year, where members of the public found out more about the works and the wider project and were able to provide feedback.

It is our intention to build the tunnels and shafts under our permitted development rights, which means that planning permission is not required for the entire project. However, there are points along the tunnel route where we need to build headhouses to cover the shafts. The headhouses are required for ventilation and as a permanent access point for the tunnel once it is built. We need to secure planning permission for these if they are not on our operational land.

In London, most electricity is transmitted through underground cables. These are traditionally located just beneath the road surface and work to maintain them is usually carried out in the road. The three sections we are replacing are:

• Section 1: Wimbledon to New Cross – Operational by: 2025
• Section 2: New Cross to Hurst – Operational by: 2026
• Section 3: Hurst to Crayford – Operational by: 2026

Work to build the tunnels will start in summer 2019 and will take approximately eight years to complete. By placing the cables in deep underground tunnels, it will reduce major disruption to the London area. The new cable tunnels are part of National Grid’s £750 million investment to ensure a continued safe and secure supply of electricity to the Capital.