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Alphamstone: Latest pylon plans confirmed by National Grid

PUBLISHED: 09:00 31 January 2013

Archant © 2011

THE revised location of a compound that forms part of a controversial line of pylons set to be built across part of Suffolk has been confirmed.

National Grid has already agreed to bury two 4km sections of the Bramford to Twinstead connection - through part of the Dedham Vale and the Stour valley - but in order to do so must construct four “sealing end compounds”.

The point at which the cables return to the surface at the western side of the Stour Valley was open to some debate, and a consultation process was carried out.

The new cable sealing end compound will be located to the west of Alphamstone. The site has been chosen after local residents were asked for their views on two possible sites – one near Twinstead Tee and the other further to the south.

Selecting the southern site means that more than a kilometre of existing overhead line can be dismantled and three pylons taken down in the Stour Valley. This is in addition to the planned removal of the lower voltage overhead line running between Twinstead Tee and Bramford, which is being replaced by the new connection.

National Grid senior project manager Brian Smethurst said: “We received a lot of support from local residents and the local authorities for this location and we would like to thank everyone who has provided comments.

“We are publishing a report which summarises our responses to all the comments we received, and explains how they have helped us to choose the location for this cable sealing end compound.”

Mr Smethurst added that the comments from residents were vital in the decision-making process and the full report was available online.

He said: “We are gaining valuable feedback that is helping us to shape our proposals for the detailed design of the Bramford to Twinstead Tee connection.”

David Holland of the Stour valley Underground group, which has called for the whole route to be buried, said he was pleased that National Grid had paid such close attention to the views of residents.

He said: “I’m pleased - and they say it will lead to the removal of three existing pylons, but I think it can actually be four that come down and be replaced by a new asymmetric pylon at the new sealing end compound.

“By moving the sealing end compound it means a number of pylons can come out, which means a reunification of a country wildlife site which is basically a woodland that has been sliced in two by the pylons since the 1960s. All that wood can now be reunited.

“It also means the views down across the landscape get cleared of pylons. “I think the people of Suffolk and north Essex have been very grown up and purposeful in the way they have addressed the consultation and haven’t just waved placards and screamed - they have come up with better solutions.”

For details about the project visit www.bramford-twinstead.co.uk

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