A POWER supplier has backed down on plans to lay an underground electricity cable through conservation land in Winterbourne.

Western Power Distribution is planning to set up a new 2.2 kilometre electricity line from Trench Lane, Bradley Stoke, to Winterbourne's sub station.

Part of the proposal had been to lay almost a kilometre of the line through conservation land next to Church Lane in Winterbourne.

But Western Power has now opted to have the line go around the land after fears were raised by an archaeologist that the line could spoil the land's historical interest.

Archaeologist David Evans had told the power supplier the conservation land was formerly the site of an early medieval cemetery of national importance.

He said: "The exact extent and location of the cemetery are uncertain but it is highly likely that this cemetery will be affected by the undergrounding works."

Irene Evans, spokeswoman for Western Power, told the Gazette that plans for the underground cable had since been changed.

She said: "We have been made aware of the possible archaeological value of the site at Church Lane and our intended route for the new underground cable will now be diverted around this area of land.

"This underground work is not subject to planning permission. We have, however, out of courtesy informed the council that we will deviate the underground section away from the site of archaeological interest."

The company claims a new line is needed to supply an increase in electricity demand from Winterbourne and the surrounding area.