A PLANNED undersea power cable linking Pembrokeshire to Ireland will not adversely impact the local environment, a local politician has been told.

Marc Tierney, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate, met with developers of the Greenlink Interconnector at a public engagement event in Pembroke Town Hall last week.

The three-year construction project will, if approved by planning authorities in Pembrokeshire and Wexford, connect the power markets of Ireland and Great Britain.

According to the backers, the project will provide energy security, regional investment, and value for money for energy consumers.

However, the project has been criticised by a number of local residents who fear that construction would have an ecological impact on Freshwater West – the location where the underground cable linking Wales to Baginbun Beach in Ireland will come ashore.

Speaking with Tom Brinicombe, Greenlink’s Planning and Permitting Manager, Mr Tierney received assurances that the on-shore construction at Freshwater West would take into account the sensitive and unspoilt nature of the beach and dunes.

The company has worked closely with the local community in ensuring the Horizontal Direction Drill avoids any above-ground disturbance to the beach and dune system.

Mr Tierney said: “In connecting the power networks of Wales and Ireland, Greenlinks will bring over 200 construction jobs and five permanent positions at the interconnector station near Pembroke Power Station. This promises to be an opportunity to reduce costs to billpayers in the UK, allowing suppliers to export excess power and import green energy from Ireland’s expanding renewables market.”

“Local residents have a right to be concerned about infrastructure projects near much loved beaches and green spaces. However, Greenlinks have presented a robust plan to ensure that disruption is completely minimised.”

“With Greenlinks being given the status of a European Project of Common Interest, it is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects. I am pleased that, despite the fears over what a Tory Brexit might mean for the local economy, this project is 'Brexit-proof’ in ensuring secure and sustainable energy that promotes green growth and jobs.”

“This is the second engagement event I have attended, and I am pleased at the level of interest shown by the local community. Welsh Government is keen for the project to maximise the use of the local supply chain during construction which is good news for local companies interested in working with the project. It’s essential that we back better infrastructure in Wales, whilst also ensuring that the local environment is protected.”