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Norwich to Tilbury project protest leader, Rosie Pearson, brands the Government’s pounds for pylons scheme an ‘insult’





A campaign leader, who is fighting a proposed East Anglian pylon line which will go through Suffolk, has labelled plans in the Government’s Autumn Statement to compensate people living close to the route as insulting.

On Wednesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said that households near to new pylons and transmission infrastructure could get money off their energy bills.

The Government hopes the offer will convince people to support upgrades to the country’s energy network in their area.

Rosie Pearson, founder of Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons action group
Rosie Pearson, founder of Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons action group

National Grid’s Norwich to Tilbury project would see a new high-voltage electricity line constructed through large areas of Suffolk and Norfolk countryside, and has received huge criticism from councils, MPs, businesses and residents.

Rosie Pearson, founder of Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons action group, said: “We are insulted that the Government thinks it can buy us off with bribes for a bad project.

“If the man from the ministry comes bearing beads for the natives, he will be given short shrift.

The proposed pylon line will 183km long and go from Norfolk, through Suffolk to Essex. Picture: Mark Bullimore
The proposed pylon line will 183km long and go from Norfolk, through Suffolk to Essex. Picture: Mark Bullimore

“The Treasury’s proposals simply show contempt for communities, a lack of understanding, and a lack of listening.

“The Government was told, in no uncertain terms by us and our supporters, that its pounds-for-pylons proposal was unpopular and won’t speed up planning.”

The Government says projects like the 183km line are needed so it can reach one of its 2019 manifesto commitments – to reach net zero by 2050 with green energy solutions and infrastructure.

But to do this and to connect with renewable projects, the UK’s network needs upgrading.

Mrs Pearson added: “In the case of our campaign, despite National Grid’s protests that pylons are cheaper, there is an integrated offshore solution which combines the power from wind farms offshore and takes it straight to London.

“That is a much cheaper and less damaging way of doing things than the current proposals.