MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Dan Poulter 'extremely concerned' over East Anglia Green proposals
The MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Dan Poulter says he is 'extremely concerned' over proposals put forward by National Grid for a new high voltage network reinforcement across Suffolk and Norfolk.
East Anglia Green is National Grid’s proposed energy enablement project to build a new high voltage network reinforcement between Norwich and Bramford, and onwards to Tilbury.
Following a meeting with representatives from National Grid over the project, Dr Poulter said he was left with 'grave concerns' the new power lines and pylons will not, as previously expected, run parallel to the existing Norwich to Bramford corridor.
Under the new proposals, there will be around 60 kilometres of new overhead lines and associated pylons between Norwich and Bramford, around four to five kilometres west of the existing line.
Dr Dan Poulter said he was 'extremely concerned' and 'shocked' about the proposals while a spokesperson for National Grid said studies looking at siting the new pylons close to the existing ones showed they would need to 'divert' around numerous existing homes and woodland 'which would require more robust angle pylons with additional visual and environmental effects'.
They added: "We consider several factors when weighing up the most appropriate way of getting renewable and low carbon energy to homes and businesses and pylons remain the most efficient way to connect new sources of energy.
"We expect the new reinforcement to be made up of mostly pylons with some underground cabling where the route crosses an area designated for its outstanding natural beauty."
However, Dr Poulter shared concerns over the impact the proposed corridor would have on the Suffolk countryside.
"Whilst it’s important to recognise that we must deliver greater reliability and capacity in our energy supplies, as well as increasing our energy security, this simply cannot be at any cost or to the detriment of our Suffolk countryside and natural environment," he said.
"It seems to me there is no compelling case whatsoever for the placement of this new line and I have strongly urged that National Grid reconsider their proposed route.
"I have already been contacted by a number of residents who are outraged and I have also written to the Leaders of Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Councils and Parish Councils in my constituency.
"These plans don’t make any sense and I would urge people to have their say whilst the consultation remains open.
“Whilst my first choice would undoubtedly be for the lines to be sited underground, national grid would argue that this increases costs.
"But at the very least, if they cannot be undergrounded, I would like to see any new power lines sited immediately parallel to the existing corridor.”
Proposals for the National Grid’s East Anglia Green project are undergoing a consultation period until June 16.
For full details, go to: www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/document/142451/download