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Exeter/Exminster development needs new substation

Consultation over site for electricity hub

A public consultation is underway on proposals for an electricity substation to support development to the south west of Exeter.

Devon County Council has identified three potential sites and is now asking people for their views ahead of a planning application being submitted later in the year.

The substation is another essential element of the £55 million infrastructure needed to enable the development of 2,500 homes and employment in the area. Western Power Distribution, which is responsible for the electricity network in the area, has advised that there is insufficient capacity in the existing network to support the full development.

Suitable sites for an electricity substation need to be close to the 132kV overhead cables. The site must be level and have good access for construction and maintenance.

In identifying the sites, the council has attempted to minimise the impact on existing properties, as well as those planned to be developed and the area identified for the Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS).

The options are -

1) An area located in the south eastern corner of the existing Marsh Barton industrial estate, which has planning permission for mixed employment. It can be accessed via Marsh Barton and Matford Way but would need to be raised as it is within a flood zone.

2) The second site is at Matford Home Farm, and is identified in the Teignbridge Local Plan for mixed use development. It has good access from the A379 and the 132kV network crosses the centre of the site. There are residential properties next to the site’s western boundary.

3) The third option is remote from existing homes, but it is part of a County Wildlife Site and making future connections to the site are likely to require large scale excavation. It is bordered by the M5 to the south east and A30 to the south west.

The consultation will continue until Monday 1 March.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said: “The new substation is another critical piece of infrastructure needed to support the future development to the south west of Exeter. This is an opportunity for local people to comment on the three site options and any other ideas. We want to hear from as many people as possible in order to gauge local opinion. The feedback will then inform the development of a planning application.”

Councillor Yvonne Atkinson, Devon County Councillor for Alphington and Cowick, said: “I welcome the consultation as an opportunity for local residents to have their say on potential sites for the development of this substation. The visual impact of this project on the local area is important and should be a key consideration as the design progresses regardless of which site is taken forward.”

For more information or to take part in the consultation go to

Feedback can be provided by email at or by writing to Planning, Transportation and Environment, Devon County Council, Room 120, County Hall, Exeter, EX2 4QD.

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