PLANNERS have approved an £18 million project to improve the energy network across north Shropshire.

In 2018, SP Energy Networks submitted a planning application to enhance the electricity supply across the region, including a connection between the Oswestry and Wem electrical substations.

SP Energy Networks said the line would boost capacity in the area to support development on land allocated for new jobs and homes in Oswestry, Whitchurch and Wem.

Earlier this month, the project, which will consist of wooden poles carrying 132KV wires, was approved by the planning inspectorate, with work to commence later this year.

In his report to the examining authority Paul Hudson said there was an urgent need to substantially increase the capacity of the electricity network in north Shropshire if the social and economic plans were to be achieved.

"The applicant has carried out a systematic approach to the consideration of alternative routes and the choice of trident wood poles as the most appropriate for the physical circumstances of this part of north Shropshire," said Mr Hudson in his report.

"The construction arrangements have been designed to cause minimum disruption to the rural area in which the proposed development would take place.

"There would be no significant ecological effects at a local, regional or national scale and none are predicted during the construction, operation or maintenance of the proposed development.

"In coming to an overall conclusion about the case for development consent, in my view, this is a thorough and well-prepared application which perhaps explains why it has attracted very few representations.

"It is fully compliant with the policy requirements of the NPSs, and I conclude there is a very clear justification in favour of granting development consent."