MPs call for halt to Constable Country pylons consultation

Pylons in Suffolk

Some of the thousands of pylons that dominate the skies in Suffolk - Credit: Julie Kemp

Four MPs from Suffolk and Essex have asked the government to stop the public consultation into plans for a new line of pylons from Bramford to Twinstead until a final plan for electricity distribution has been drawn up by the National Grid.

The proposed pylons, which would include parts of Constable country on the Suffolk/Essex border, have been controversial since first proposed several years ago.

But in January a new line of pylons was proposed as part of another distribution plan taking electricity generated by off-shore turbines to London - with part following the same route.

Now South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, Central Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter, Braintree MP James Cleverly and North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin have written to Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan to ask for the consultation to be suspended to allow all the routes to be looked at together.

Mr Cartlidge said: “As an MP in East Anglia I am extremely proud of the role our region is playing in securing a net-zero future for the UK by 2050, particularly through the development of offshore wind.

"That said, it is essential that the infrastructure associated with renewable energy does not come at a disproportionate cost to our local environment.

"It would appear that we could be facing not just the existing upgrade to Bramford-Twinstead but a further set of pylons, potentially alongside Bramford-Twinstead itself, but certainly in our locality somewhere.

"It’s surely reasonable to request that the cumulative impact of these projects is considered and therefore I’ve joined with neighbouring MPs to call for the current consultation to be suspended until we know where this second line of pylons is planned.

"To hold separate consultations on major pylon projects that could be only two years apart in development would be unacceptable for communities when they are entitled to know the full picture on what is planned, including the total cumulative impact”.

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Aaron Zuill, Senior Project Manager for Bramford to Twinstead commented: “The UK’s transition to more renewable energy provides a great opportunity to deliver a more sustainable future for all, but it is critical that we have the infrastructure in place to support the ambitious Government plans to provide 40GW of electricity from offshore wind by 2030.

"Our connection between Bramford and Twinstead is essential to bringing more clean energy to homes and businesses across the UK and to meeting these targets. We are looking forward to hearing from local residents and businesses in the region as we develop our proposals, and I’d encourage everyone to get involved”.

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