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Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons Group leader describes cash to communities as ‘missing the point’

Plans to offer cash to those affected by major energy infrastructure have been pilloried by members of an action group set up to oppose its construction.

Rosie Pearson (pictured), founder of the Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons Group, described the scheme, which is currently being considered by the government, as a poor attempt at trying to silence critics.

“Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to offer token cash bribes to communities to accept pylons misses the point,” she said. “We don’t need petty cash for pylons.

Rosie Pearson, of the Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons action group. Picture: Contributed.
Rosie Pearson, of the Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons action group. Picture: Contributed.

“The government seems to think that by offering us a playground or a token electricity bill discount we will accept these monstrosities.

“In many instances, such as in the East of England, a pylon should be the last, not first, resort.

“An offshore grid will be faster, better and cheaper than the current, unplanned process, which inflicts twice as much transmission infrastructure on the region. A new playground or piffling discount on an electricity bill does not cut the mustard and will not help infrastructure to get built faster.”

Thirteen Conservative MPs from East Anglia have written to Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho to oppose the current plans. Lib Dem leader Ed Davey has also pledged his full support for an offshore grid.

If approved, the 114-mile string of 50-metre pylons will stretch from Norwich to Tilbury, skirting around the edges of Diss and passing through the areas of Bressingham, Roydon, Wortham Ling and Palgrave.

The proposed route of the pylons has been altered amidst two public consultations, but frustrations have remained over a perceived lack of giving serious consideration to offshore options, as opposed to covering the landscape with overhead lines and steel structures.

Part of the largest overhaul of the gird in generations, National Grid says the route will play a vital role in delivering electricity efficiently, reliably, and safely, while supporting the UK’s move to reduce carbon emissions.