FLEETWOOD - BC Hydro is set to build a substation in Fleetwood and a resident who lives steps away is furious, saying the project will eliminate habitats for a number of animals.
The substation will be located at 156th Street at about 76th Avenue, behind Surrey Lake Park, and is in the Agricultural Land Reserve. BC Hydro has received permission from the Agricultural Land Commission to construct the station. BC Hydro says prep work will begin in October and construction is scheduled to start in November.
Penny Beck lives directly across the street from the site, and her family has been on the property for 40 years.
"I don't have an issue with the substation itself per se, because I do realize it is needed. My biggest issue is where they want to put it," Beck said.
"They are not little trees," she said of the forested area set to be cut down.
She says the habitats of a number of creatures will be impacted by the construction, including red tail hawks, bald eagles, coyotes, black squirrels, hummingbirds, screech owls and more.
"I'm not an emotional person, but I know this property like the back of my hand," Beck said, adding that she will be devastated if the substation is built where it's currently set to go.
"It will kill me," Beck said.
Judy Dobrowolski, spokesperson for BC Hydro, said the project is needed in order to accommodate the electricity requirements Surrey will have as it grows over the next 30 years.
The site was identified as a preferred site due to many factors, Dobrowolski said. She said the substation couldn't be moved back farther on the property because it would then be in the Serpentine River floodplain.
"We need to stay out of the floodplain and as well, we need to be as close to the transmission line as possible in order to meet our technical requirements."
When it comes to building on ALR land, Bobrowolski said there is "basically no space" outside of it due to density.
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