Campaigners oppose 112-mile East Anglia power line

  • Published
Anti-pylons sign, with pylon in background
Image caption,
National Grid agreed to put the cable underground through the Dedham Vale, but campaigners want more countryside free from new pylons

A planned 112 mile-long (180km) power line suspended mostly on new pylons across East Anglia should be run under the sea, campaigners said.

National Grid said the high voltage line, between Norwich, Suffolk and Essex, was needed to carry electricity from offshore wind turbines.

It said the "essential" line would also be used by the proposed new Sizewell C nuclear power station.

Essex MP, Sir Bernard Jenkin, said the plan was a "non-starter".

The proposed 400kV electricity transmission line, called the East Anglia Green Energy Enablement project, would run between Norwich and a new Bramford substation near Ipswich, and then to Tilbury in south Essex, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

It would use 164ft high (50m) steel pylons, except for where it would run underground through the Dedham Vale area of outstanding natural beauty on the Suffolk/Essex border.

Image caption,
The proposed line was needed for offshore wind, National Grid said

Sir Bernard, Conservative MP for Harwich and North Essex, is chairman of the Off Shore Electricity Grid Task Force (OffSET) which is a group MPs who want to protect rural locations in Suffolk and Essex from new overground pylons and cabling.

He said: "What we cannot have is cheap and cheerful patchwork solutions.

"The current plans are a non-starter."

Image source, UK Parliament
Image caption,
Sir Bernard Jenkin was working with other MPs in the east of England to stop new pylons in the countryside

The MP said rather than building new pylons, or running the cabling underground which would be too expensive, they should be looking at more offshore solutions to connect the three substations to limit the effect on the countryside.

He said: "We need a much more environment-friendly solution, and I look forward to working with local residents to have their voices heard."

Rosie Pearson, from the Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons action group, said the proposed line would "result in an unacceptable industrialization of our precious and beautiful East Anglian landscapes".

"It will have an impact on wildlife, communities and businesses. That has not been taken into account," she said.

She agreed a "properly planned offshore grid" would be the group's preferred option.

Liam Walker, from the National Grid, said the project was "essential to carry more clean energy to homes and businesses across the UK, and to help the country reach net zero by 2050".

A public consultation on the plans runs until 16 June.

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