Overhead powerlines removed from beauty spot in £600k project

Powerlines to Orford before and after UK power networks replaced the overheads with underground

The powerlines (left) to Orford have been replaced by an underground cable (right) - Credit: UK Power Networks

Work to replace 5km of overhead power lines running to the village of Orford with underground cabling has been completed. 

The project took place in the Coasts and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and was funded by a special allowance from electricity regulator Ofgem.

This fund is specifically for improving the landscape in AONB's. The work at Orford follows similar projects at Sutton Hoo and Shingle Street. 

Bosses say that as well as improving views, burying the cables eliminates the risks of birds flying into lines.

Orford's power supply will also be more reliable following the work.

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Trevor Phillips, project manager for UK Power Networks, said: “With the support of our partners, we have delivered a successful project with clear aesthetic and environmental benefits for Orford in this wonderfully scenic area. 

“Beyond that, we have also future-proofed the village’s power supplies by installing the latest remote technology to ensure any power cuts can begin to be addressed even before engineers arrive. 

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“Allied to that we have been able to split the network in Orford. Previously any power cut would impact the entire village, now we can address the precise location of a fault meaning fewer people would be off and for much less time.” 

Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for highways

Councillor Andrew Reid, chairman of the Coast & Heaths AONB Partnership - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Councillor Andrew Reid, chairman of the Coast & Heaths AONB Partnership, said: “We are delighted that after working with the local community and UK Power Networks on this project the undergrounding at Orford is now complete. 

"Orford is a delightful and special place and this work provides a long-lasting improvement to the views within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."

Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro is the new Conservative councillor for Waveney District Council's Pakefiel

Councillor Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, member of the Coast & Heaths AONB Joint Advisory Committee & Partnership - Credit: Archant

Councillor Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, member of the Coast & Heaths AONB Joint Advisory Committee & Partnership, added: “'The residents of Orford are delighted that this project is nearing completion and that this famous landscape, rich in history, will be restored to its natural and unspoiled beauty by the removal of the overhead cables, and for the beneficial impact their removal will have on our wildlife. 

"Further still, we look forward to a power supply with far fewer interruptions and increase reliability for the community and residents."

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