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Mid Suffolk District Council outlines its objection to National grid's East Anglia GREEN pylons plan

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Plans for new overhead pylons across Suffolk will have a 'massive impact' on the county, Mid Suffolk councillors have said in their objection to proposals.

On Monday morning, the council’s cabinet agreed its response to National Grid’s consultation on the East Anglia GREEN scheme which proposes to build 180km of 400kv pylons running from Norwich to Tilbury, in Esse,x via the substation in Bramford.

Concerns have already been raised by six East Anglian MPs – including Suffolk MPs James Cartlidge, Dr Dan Poulter and Jo Churchill – as well as campaign groups and a petition of nearly 14,000 locals.

Mid Suffolk District Council, whose district the 50-metre pylons will pass through, has also objected.

Cllr David Burn, Conservative cabinet member for planning, said: “This is a big and complicated proposal that is worrying for a great many of our residents.

Cllr David Burn
Cllr David Burn

“Our overriding preference is for a co-ordinated offshore approach to minimise onshore infrastructure and the associated impact on the community and environment.

“Subsea cabling options are being developed for the north of England and Scotland, so why not here?”

Andy Mellen, leader of the Green councillors and ward member for Bacton, said he welcomed an increase in renewable energy production, but added: "The proposed overhead lines and pylons will have a massive impact on the area through which they pass, visually dominating the landscape and also impacting heavily on many heritage assets along the route.

Cllr Andy Mellen Picture by Jason Noble
Cllr Andy Mellen Picture by Jason Noble

“The overgrounding is only the best value option for National Grid if no intrinsic value is ascribed to these landscapes.”

John Field, leader of the Liberal Democrat cohort and member for Blakenham, said there was a limit to the tolerance of communities and 'East Anglia GREEN exceeds that tolerance'.

Elsewhere, concerns were raised around the impact overhead pylons would have on the tourism industry, the visual landscape and value of house prices and land.

Pylon plans
Pylon plans

The consultation runs until June 16, with National Grid stressing responses would be carefully considered.

It said the existing network was developed in the 1960s and, to date, had been able to meet demand.

However, increased renewable and low carbon power by 2030 meant demand on the network would increase significantly and the existing power lines did not have the capacity to meet demand without reinforcement.

To find out more and take part in the consultation, visit www.nationalgrid.com