Alain Tolhurst , Reporter
Sunday, April 15, 2012
National Grid is spending £2.2million on pipeline improvements in Ottery to secure the gas network in the South West.
Starting in May they will begin replacing a section which runs under the River Otter in Fluxton, and has been damaged following erosion.
A spokesman for the grid said it was laid under the river in 1971, but over the years it has moved eastwards, exposing part of it to floating debris.
To prevent this, a replacement pipe will be laid at a greater depth under the river.
Project manager, Adam Merchant, said: “People enjoying the walks and views along the River Otter may not realise that this gas pipeline has been here for over 40 years.
“This is one of only two main gas pipelines serving Devon and Cornwall, so it’s vital to keep it working.”
Mr Merchant said they will work with the local community and aim to cause as little disruption as possible.
He added: “Once we’ve left the area, the view will be no different to how it is now.
“In fact, it will be difficult to spot any sign of us having been here.”
National Grid confirmed the old pipe will be decommissioned and left in place, saying this is the best environmental option for leaving the river undisturbed.
The spokesman said: “The land and soil will then be reinstated, along with any hedges or trees that have been removed.
“National Grid has a policy of replanting more trees than we remove, and leaving improved habitat for wildlife.”
It said the five-month project is a significant investment in the region’s gas infrastructure, and will help make sure the area continues to receive a safe and reliable supply.
To give local residents more information about the work and answer any questions, there will be a public exhibition at the Cricket Pavilion, Tipton St John Playing Field, on Friday, April 21 between 1pm and 7pm.