On 12th October 2023, representatives of UK Power Networks and contractor Kier attended Stapleford Parish Council’s monthly meeting to address residents’ concerns about extensive cabling works in the area and a storage compound located immediately adjacent to properties on Haverhill Road. Their presentation is available at UKPN presentation to SPC, 12 Oct 23.
Around 20 members of the public attended plus several others who were able to view the meeting via a live feed with a link provided through the community Facebook group.
UKPN commenced with an apology for a lack of liaison and communication. They were pressed hard by residents and Cllr Brian Milnes as to why the scheme had not been advertised in advance of working starting, why the community was not included in any liaison, and inaccurate and misleading road signage at the junction of A1301/Bury Road. Letters advising of the works were delivered to selected properties in the village several days after work had started, with a follow-up letter arriving on 11th Oct. Speaking on behalf of UKPN, Mr Waters admitted to human error; upon questioning by Cllr Milnes, he acknowledged that project plans were missing.
When pressed on the location of the compound, Mr Waters advised that it should not have been positioned where it was, but it could not now be moved. Access to the compound has been repositioned at the end furthest from property on Haverhill Road. The compound will be in place for one year; Haverhill Road from the site to the A1307 will be closed (in full or in part) until 22nd Dec 2023. More details of the works’ timeline are given in the presentation.
UK Power Networks was not aware that work on the Rangeford site would commence at the same time because Rangeford had not needed to submit any road permit application.
A second site near the River Granta (behind Stapleford Granary) will soon open from where cabling operations under the river will be done. This site will be in place for around 6 weeks. As with the compound on Haverhill Road, UKPN is legally obliged to return the land to its original condition upon completion of the work.
Mr Waters promised a full investigation and that lessons would be learned from this situation. The project so far had fallen far short of UKPN’s and Kier’s high standards. There was a further commitment to provide ongoing information with monthly meetings to be held at the Pavilion or via attendance at monthly Parish Council meetings so residents have further opportunities to raise concerns and ask questions.
We have been promised a link to a section of UKPN’s website specifically set up for the Haverhill Road project and will supply this in due course.
A low res recording of the presentation is available to view in two parts: