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Power systems are set to undergo dramatic changes driven by many factors ranging from climate change to technological developments. It is expected that networks will become smarter and more flexible able to deal with uncertainties in future generation types and locations as well as system operation practices within liberalized electricity markets. This will include energy storage and demand response as extra system control options. These developments will require a fundamental change in the way power systems are planned. This paper introduces the concept of flexible transmission network planning which, in contrast to current network planning under the so-called preventive control, network switching as a plausible corrective control action is assumed in the course of network planning. A practical model for switchable substations is also proposed. A discrete transmission investment model is applied to reflect real life scenarios. In order to deal with the scale of the problem a multi-stage solution algorithm is proposed combining heuristic techniques and a Genetic Algorithm. The proposed approach is implemented on the IEEE 24 bus test system and its superiority to conventional method is demonstrated.