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Suffolk/Essex: Councils unite to fight pylons proposal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 June 2012

Electricity pylons bisect the Suffolk countryside at Lower Layham near Hadleigh

Electricity pylons bisect the Suffolk countryside at Lower Layham near Hadleigh

Archant

COUNCILS from both sides of the county border are to provide a united front as they attempt to block National Grid proposals to set up an army of pylons across Constable Country.

Members and officials from Suffolk and Essex County Councils met their opposite numbers from Babergh, Mid-Suffolk and Braintree Councils to agree the joint strategy.

Suffolk County Councillor with responsibility for planning Guy McGregor said everyone was agreed that there were fundamental flaws with the National Grid plans for more 47-metre pylons across the countryside.

He said: “We will certainly be approaching this issue with a single voice and making clear the concerns that are felt by the communities we represent.”

National Grid has said it intends to go ahead with a new double row of pylons from Bramford just outside Ipswich to Twinstead, just over the Essex border near Sudbury.

The vast majority of the 17-mile route will be covered by pylons carrying wires across the countryside – only five miles of the wires would be put underground.

An area between Whitestreet Green and Leavenheath which crosses through the Dedham Vale area of outstanding natural beauty and then a second section through the Stour Valley, north of Bures, have been selected to have underground cables.

South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo wants National Grid to place the entire connection underground. He added that the announcement was a small improvement on original idea to bury no cables but the plan remained a “botched proposal”.

“It’s a welcome but rather small step in the right direction,” he said. “We should give them credit for that, they have moved from their original position.

“But it’s completely unacceptable to have 12-miles of pylons through that part of Suffolk and there will continue to be very strong resistance.”

The EADT understands that the councillors and officials who met at the end of last week support Mr Yeo’s views about the proposed pylons and will continue to press National Grid to bury a much greater length of the controversial power cables.

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