Power lines to be removed from Suffolk coastal landscape in bid to improve beauty
PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 December 2019
UK POWER NETWORKS
A local energy company is to remove more than 5km of overhead power lines in a Suffolk Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) at a cost of £520,000.
UK Power Networks, who operate the electricity network in the east of England, is to remove the 11,000 volt overhead power lines in a bid to improve views of the local landscape.
It comes as part of new improvement works to provide more reliable power supplies for around 70 residents living in the north of Shotley, while also removing the risk of birds flying into cables.
The overhead cables will be replaced with 4km of underground cable and seven new electricity substations, which bane be operated remotely without the need for an engineer to attend.
UK Power Networks project manager Lee Bodfield said he understood power lines have an effect on landscapes.
Mr Bodfield said: "This part of Shotley is rightly popular with walkers and while the views are already impressive, we are keen to make them even better still through this project.
"Undergrounding power lines can make a dramatic difference to the look of the skyline. When people see them every day they perhaps blank them out, but we are removing them for real.
"We have now started some ducting work ahead of dismantling the lines next year and will continue to work with local landowners to deliver an outcome that will benefit the entire community and visitors alike."
The village lies in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which was funded by a special allowance from electricity industry regulator Ofgem.
With only 33 AONBs in England, Suffolk is lucky to benefit from both the Coast and Heaths as well as the Dedham Vale.
Simon Amsutz, manager of the AONB said: "Sandwiched between two fabulous estuaries, the Shotley Peninsula is an area with outstanding scenery and superb views.
"I am delighted to hear the work to underground overhead electricity cables is underway. Removing over 5km of wires and so many poles, will really enhance the natural beauty of this special place."
UK Power Networks said the work will conclude next year.