American backing for pylon group

CAMPAIGNERS fighting proposals for a new set of pylons across the south Suffolk countryside have been backed by an unlikely ally from across the Atlantic.

Elliot Furniss

CAMPAIGNERS fighting proposals for a new set of pylons across the south Suffolk countryside have been backed by an unlikely ally from across the Atlantic.

The Groton Pylon Alliance opposes National Grid's plans to string 30km of pylons between Bramford, near Ipswich, and Twinstead, near Sudbury.

Groton sits in one of the four possible “route corridors” the pylons could follow - routes that are the subject of a series of public events around the area that started last month.


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The alliance, which has now set up its own website, calls for alternative solutions to pylons and champions a more modern “smart grid” approach to energy production and management.

Now its campaign has been supported by John Winthrop, who lives in the city of Charleston in South Carolina. Mr Winthrop wrote to the group to tell them about an historic link he has to Groton and that he supports them in their cause.

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He is a direct descendant of John Winthrop, Lord of the Manor of Groton who, in 1630, left the village to sail to the east coast of the United States and went on to found the city of Boston and became the first Governor of Massachusetts.

Mr Winthrop said: “Many of us here in the United States value and hold close to our heart our English heritage. We continue to maintain close links with Groton which, together with other villages in the area, attract overseas visitors both as a result of the village being on the American heritage trail and because it is, of course, a beautiful part of the English countryside, much loved by American and other tourists.

“I am very shocked to learn that Groton and other picturesque villages in the area such as Boxford, Edwardstone and Kersey, which have remained unspoiled since my ancestors came to the United States nearly 470 years ago, could be blighted in such a dramatic and unnecessary fashion by the construction of such a power line.

“I would therefore like to publicly record my support for the Groton Pylon Alliance and trust that they will ensure that an area of the world we treasure from as far away as the United States is not spoiled for generations to come.”

National Grid has put forward four possible route corridors that the pylons could follow and pledged to hold a full public consultation looking at the proposals.

Jim Street, National Grid's senior project manager, said: “We are very, very keen to get feedback from the local community and take account of this in a balanced way.”

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