Campaigners fighting plans to route pylons across 112 miles of the Suffolk and Essex countryside have slammed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's 'Pounds for Pylons' cash offer.

In his autumn statement, Mr Hunt announced the Government would be offering households living near the new pylons up to £10,000 in compensation.

However, Rosie Pearson, from action group Essex Suffolk Norfolk pylons, said the offer was an 'insult' and that the Government was trying to buy residents off 'with bribes for a bad project.'

READ MORE: National Grid 'arrogance' over Suffolk pylon consultation

The pylons are set to support power lines carrying electricity from wind farms off the East Anglia coast and would line a route running through Suffolk and into Essex past Dedham, Langham and crossing the A12 to connect into the East Anglian Connection substation in Tendring.

They are part of broader National Grid plans to provide the structures along a route from Norwich to Tilbury, but the campaigners are opposed, fearing the damage to the countryside and have instead proposed creating an offshore grid.

Rosie said:  "We are insulted that the government thinks it can buy us off with bribes for a bad project.  If the man from the ministry comes bearing beads for the natives, he will be given short shrift.  What matters is getting planning right.  

READ MORE: Suffolk and Essex pylon plans 'legally flawed,' lawyer says

"In the case of our campaign, despite National Grid's protests that pylons are cheaper, there is an integrated offshore solution which combines the power from wind farms offshore and takes it straight to London.  

"That is a much cheaper and less damaging way of doing things than National Grid's so-called offshore option, which starts far inland and isn't integrated.
"The Treasury's proposals simply show contempt for communities, a lack of understanding and a lack of listening.  

READ MORE: Suffolk Essex pylons: Campaigners' delight at review U-turn

"Government was told in no uncertain terms by us and our supporters that their pounds for pylons proposal was unpopular and won't speed up planning." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk County Council's deputy leader Richard RoutSuffolk County Council's deputy leader Richard Rout (Image: Simon Lee Photography Suffolk UK)Addressing MPs on Wednesday, Mr Hunt said: "These measures will cut grid access delays by 90% and offer up to £10,000 off electricity bills over 10 years for those living closest to new transmission infrastructure.

"Taken together these planning and grid reforms are estimated to accelerate around £90 billion of additional business investment over the next 10 years."

Suffolk County Council's deputy leader Richard Rout, the Tory parliamentary candidate for the Waveney Valley constituency, was also critical of the Government's offer.

READ MORE: Suffolk news

He said:  “I have for months been making the argument that community benefits are necessary, but not sufficient, for residents affected by new pylon projects.

"Direct compensation has a role to play but is not a substitute for a well-designed and properly consulted on project.

"People ultimately impacted should, of course, be compensated if all alternatives have exhausted, but alongside proper consultation, engagement and - most important of all - an approach that transfers more energy via offshore routes.

"Such an approach is logical, feasible and affordable and must play a greater part in addressing the need for energy security in the UK.”

Cllr John Ward, acting leader of Babergh District Council, has also objected to the money offer as the pylons are set to run through the Babergh district.

He said: “Constable Country is not for sale – once the landscape has been industrialised, nothing can compensate for this loss.

“We do not want to see a new row of ugly pylons cutting through our precious landscapes – and the pledge of lower energy bills for those living nearest to them does not change that view."