Two Suffolk councils are writing to Energy Secretary Grant Shapps demanding that National Grid rethinks its proposals to build a line of pylons across the county.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk want him to put pressure on the company to put its cable from North Norfolk to Tilbury under the sea - preventing the construction of the line of overhead cables through Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

National Grid is conducting a non-statutory consultation on its Norwich to Tilbury overhead line proposals.

The councils are the latest to say they recognise the national importance of strategic energy infrastructure for the transition to net zero, but they are calling for a co-ordinated offshore solution.

Council chairs Elisabeth Malvisi (Babergh) and Rowland Warboys (Mid Suffolk), are to write to the Government outlining their objections.

John Ward, deputy leader of Babergh, said: “This proposal is a critical moment which needs to trigger a wider conversation about how we ensure we have the right energy infrastructure without the industrialisation of the countryside.

“We want to see a coordinated, offshore approach to deliver the transmission network reinforcement objectives of the various projects in the region and elsewhere in the UK. This will minimise onshore infrastructure and the associated impacts of that.”

Mid Suffolk leader Andy Mellen said: “We stand side-by-side with our communities who are worried about the impact of these plans.

East Anglian Daily Times: Mid Suffolk leader Andy Mellen.Mid Suffolk leader Andy Mellen. (Image: Charlotte Bond)

“We understand the need for the additional infrastructure to help with the transition to net zero, but there is another option which doesn’t involve pylons cutting across our district’s countryside.

“We urge a more strategic offshore approach, minimising and mitigating harm to Suffolk’s communities and environment.”

A spokesman for the National Grid said an offshore cable would cost more than £4bn to create - compared with an estimated cost of just under £900m for a line of pylons from Norwich to Tilbury.

He added the news that a proposed windfarm off the north east coast of Norfolk would not now be built did not affect the need for the new line of cables.

Liam Walker, Project Director for Norwich to Tilbury, said: “The government’s net zero target means an increase in new renewable electricity generation such as offshore wind power.

“We’re proposing new infrastructure that will connect this green energy to the grid and allow clean electricity to power homes and businesses across East Anglia and the UK, boosting our home-grown energy security and progress towards net zero.

“The feedback we received in last year’s initial consultation has been valuable in helping us to further shape our proposals.

"This latest consultation is another part of our engagement with communities and stakeholders along the proposed route and we encourage people to share their views on the updated proposals.”