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Essential Refurbishment

Beddington to Rowdown

South East

Across the country, National Grid often needs to update older parts of the network, including overhead lines and underground cables, to make sure you have the power you need at the flick of a switch. 


The cable replacement and decommissioning works are expected to be completed by early summer 2022.

Cable replacement project description

In January 2019, we started work to replace an oil-filled cable circuit that runs in the underground tunnel between Beddington and Rowdown substations. We have been doing this by installing a second cable circuit within the existing tunnel that also runs between the two substations, meaning that the oil cable will become redundant.

Like other major utilities and companies, National Grid must ensure the maintenance of safe, efficient, economical and coordinated electricity and gas networks. There are four sites along the route, and therefore there are four main locations for National Grid activity.

These are located at Beddington substation, Lloyd Park headhouse, Kent Gate Way headhouse and Rowdown substation.

Please note, this work will not affect electricity supplies in the area.

We understand our work will cause some inconvenience for the local community, and we will work hard to minimise disruption while we carry out our essential work.

Update Summer 2021

We’re in the latter stages of the project. However, due to delays as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the knock-on effect to the supply chain, we expect our work will continue until Spring 2022.

The replacement is complete, and we’ll now concentrate on testing the new cable. We’ll take away the old cable, equipment and materials from our working areas later this year and carry out some reinstatement work, including resurfacing and fence repairs. We’ll then remove our site office cabins from Rowdown substation and stone chippings from a temporary haul road off Mickleham Way which leads to the substation.

This will bring most of our work to an end with only minor electrical works continuing within the substations until Spring 2022.

We’ll keep our site neighbours informed as our work progresses on-site. We’ve also written to political stakeholders, including ward councillors and MPs to update them about the work and new completion date.


If you would like to find out about how National Grid is responding to COVID-19, please visit our How we're responding to coronavirus webpage.

Cable decommissioning project description

As our cable replacement project is coming to an end, we are planning to decommission the old electricity cables between Beddington and Rowdown, approximately 12km in length. This project is an investment of £6 million to remove old cables no longer needed to supply electricity in London. 

The cables, which have reached the end of their useful life, are being replaced in the operational Croydon Cable Tunnel. This is part of a new network of electricity cable tunnels in the Capital designed to accommodate growing demand across London and the South East. 

This project is part of National Grid’s wider investment programme into supporting London’s growth. The safe decommissioning of these existing cables will ensure London has a safe and secure electricity transmission network into the future.

The decommissioning project is expected to start in May 2021, and the entire programme will take approximately ten months to complete. 

Vegetation management is due to take place in April at some sites along the route in preparation for the decommissioning work.

We will provide more information about other work for the decommissioning project before commencement.

Please note, this work will not affect electricity supplies in the area.

Upcoming work – vegetation management

Before we begin working on the cables, we need to carry out some vegetation management, so our team has space to do their job safely. We have carefully planned the project to minimise disruption to the local community. We are working closely with local authorities to coordinate our activities.

JSM, the contractor working on our behalf, is due to be carrying out vegetation management in the following locations from April 2021. The timing and locations may be subject to change due to site and weather conditions and consents from landowners:

  • The footpath linking Croham Valley Road to Broadcoombe

  • The rail track next to Guildford Way

  • The pathway connecting Broadcoombe to Farnborough Avenue

  • Between the gate leading to the private road off Mickleham Way and the Rowdown substation

  • In the field at the corner between Huntingfield and Falconwood Road

  • Between Fieldway Tram Stop and Addington Court Golf Club

Please be assured we will do all we can to minimise any disruption. We may need to temporarily close or fence off areas for the public’s safety and our workers as we trim and remove the vegetation. You may notice some noise as we do so. Our workers will need to park their vehicles near the site but will make sure they do not impact your access or block anyone in.Bird nesting season has now begun. To ensure we protect birds and their nests, a qualified individual will undertake a nesting bird check 48 hours before any tree trimming works.