Council bosses say they will officially object to plans to build a line of 50-metre pylons through the middle of the county.

Suffolk County Council has announced its plans to officially object to the East Anglia GREEN proposals for a 180km line of 400kv pylons from Norwich to Tilbury in Essex, via a substation in Bramford.

The plans have already met with a significant amount of local resistance, with many people calling for cables to be laid at sea instead. More than 14,000 people have also signed a petition opposing the plans.

Richard Rout, the council's deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and environment, has written to Greg Hands, the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth.

East Anglian Daily Times: Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Finance and EnvironmentRichard Rout, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment (Image: Suffolk County Council)

Mr Rout said: “The council absolutely supports ambitions for renewable energy and the government's commitment to meet the target of Net Zero by 2050. We recognise the benefits that can come from this project, and we continue to work with the government to develop coordinated off-shore transmission.

“However, the council objects to the proposal for National Grid’s East Anglia GREEN as it stands. I am determined that Suffolk will not suffer unnecessarily as a consequence, we will continue to protect our communities, residents and natural environment.

“Suffolk County Council has been lobbying government for 11 years on the issue of better coordination for off-shore transmission. We are demanding that a more collaborative solution is found to manage the different network connection requirements coming into Suffolk and East Anglia and that all network options are fully explored.

“Alongside other regional councillors and MPs, through our OffSET group (the Off-Shore Electricity Grid Task Force), we regularly speak with government ministers and officials to express our concerns about the impact of these projects on Suffolk, and East Anglia.

"Last week I wrote directly to the minister, to continue to represent Suffolk’s communities and residents, to re-emphasise the recent points made by OffSET.”

James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk, has also objected to the plans saying they shortchange the East.

Mr Cartlidge believes the electricity should instead be carried by undersea cables, and pointed out that – on current plans – Scotland and the north of England has ten times more underwater cabling than the East.

He said: "National Grid argue that it is necessary to build brand new pylons across East Anglia, including South Suffolk, because the undersea option is not technically possible.

"In fact, undersea transmission around the UK is already a reality, it’s just that East Anglia is getting a far lesser share of investment.

"My constituents would surely want to know why so much more funding can be spent protecting hundreds of miles of countryside from pylons in Scotland and the north of England, when similar investment off East Anglia would give us similar capacity to onshore pylons.”

Planners have set aside £1.2bn for Sealink 1 – a proposed undersea electricity cable from Sizewell to Kent – compared to £4.42bn for projects off the coast of Scotland and the north of England. This all ultimately comes from electricity consumers' energy bills.

Mr Cartlidge added: "We’ve got confirmation that all this offshore transmission funding comes from the same pot, bill payers. Surely bill payers in East Anglia are as entitled to see offshore cabling prioritised as those in other parts of the country?”

A National Grid spokeswoman said: "The electricity transmission network needs a number of major reinforcements to meet the Government’s net-zero ambitions to connect large volumes of wind and nuclear generation.

"We are developing future network designs that co-ordinate new schemes with the existing system across the whole network, taking account of both cost and environmental impacts. Our overall network proposals in the East Anglia region have been developed consistently with those for the rest of the network.

To complete a National Grid consultation on the East Anglia Green plans, click here.