Home   Sudbury   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Action group against pylon line through Suffolk countryside writes to King Charles III to seek support for campaign

A campaign against controversial electricity pylon proposals through Suffolk has taken its plight all the way to the throne, as they seek the backing of the British monarch.

The Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons action group has written directly to the newly-coronated King Charles III, asking for him to support their calls for alternatives to National Grid’s development plans in East Anglia.

Suffolk MPs, councils and residents have all voiced their concerns over the last year about East Anglia Green – a proposed 110-mile power line reinforcement from Norfolk to Essex, which passes along the Suffolk countryside.

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

National Grid has insisted the development is needed to transmit the increased energy being generated at offshore windfarms – but opponents argue that an offshore grid would be less costly and less damaging environmentally.

Campaigner Martin Snook, who drafted the letter to the King, stated that National Grid’s own reports had suggested that an offshore grid would require 50 per cent less infrastructure and save £2 billion in the east of England alone.

“We decided to contact King Charles at this point because we believe that, as head of state, he should be aware of what is going on before it is too late to change course,” he said.

“The National Grid pylons proposal is a bad solution that will leave an awful legacy. It will cause untold damage to the environment and to communities.

“It is also unnecessary, as an integrated offshore grid could be built instead, which would effectively bypass the East of England and spare the countryside.

“Our letter is possibly an unusual step to take, but the more time that passes, the greater the risk that the project will proceed in its current form by default.”

The letter echoes the requests of a collection of East Anglian Members of Parliament to Andrew Bowie, the new Government Minister for Nuclear and Networks, last month.

The MPs also urged further public consultation, following criticisms that a community engagement process held last year failed to present alternative options to over-land pylons.

Rosie Pearson, founder of the Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons campaign, said: “Our campaign is very active, and we are very fortunate in the support we have received from MPs.

“However, the appropriate government departments and Ofgem still seem unwilling to properly challenge the National Grid pylons proposal.

“Communities and the environment will suffer greatly from this plan. This has been hugely underplayed in the documentation presented to the public by National Grid.

“Everyone knows how committed the King is to environment conservation, so we hope he will be able to help us in some way.

“We are aware he doesn’t intervene in political disputes, but he may be able to help persuade the Government to consider the offshore alternative we, as a group, have researched and costed.

“Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Ireland have all committed to offshore grids – and it’s high time we did the same,” added Mrs Pearson.