NETWORK RAIL was this week exploring alternative sites for a major substation after Cheshire residents, including a civil engineer, successfully opposed its original plan.
The track operator said it had decided not to appeal against Vale Royal Borough Council's decision to reject plans for the 400kV substation.
The substation was to have covered 1.5ha of greenbelt land between the villages of Acton Bridge and Weaverham.
Residents, including United Utilities engineer Paul Sage, mounted fi rce opposition and the council rejected the planning application.
Sage said the site was the size of three rugby pitches, but the application also contained 'dozens of caveats about expanding in the future'.
He had expressed concerns about technical issues relating to the project.
'They didn't seem to be following the British code of practice for earthing, and we wondered whether they were using appropriate technology, ' he said.
The residents group discovered similar sites further south that were smaller, less imposing and closer to the railway.
Sage said his engineering expertise was useful. 'I was able to read up and ask suitably indepth questions that provoked measured replies.'