Suffolk/Essex: Griff Rhys Jones claims suspended “eyesore” pylons plans would have blighted countryside

Campaigners claimed a partial victory in their four-year battle against National Grid after the comp

Campaigners claimed a partial victory in their four-year battle against National Grid after the company yesterday suspended proposals to build a new 400,000 volt connection covering 17 miles (28km) by 2017. - Credit: Archant

Actor Griff Rhys Jones has insisted shelved plans to install new “eyesore” electricity pylons on the Suffolk/Essex border would have “blighted” the countryside.

Campaigners claimed a partial victory in their four-year battle against National Grid after the company yesterday suspended proposals to build a new 400,000 volt connection covering 17 miles (28km) by 2017.

The firm said that an assessment showed any connection will now not be needed until the early 2020s – which is thought to mainly be down to the delay in the creation of Sizewell C.

If given the green light, the connection has been earmarked to take the place of smaller and existing pylons between Bramford near Ipswich and Twinstead in Essex.

South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo yesterday claimed it was a “real triumph” for the “persistence and determination” of the people who campaigned.

And today Mr Jones echoed those sentiments, describing the move as “very good news” for residents.


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“It seems that, as Tim Yeo says, there was no real need in the first place for the transmission cables which, have now been set to one side,” he said.

“They will pass through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the landscape will suffer if they are not put underground. We have beautiful landscapes in Suffolk but we are all too familiar with them being impacted upon by these pylons.

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“It is often the case people say ‘What’s wrong with a pylon or two’ but unfortunately there is something wrong.

“They are quite evidently eyesores which blight the countryside and need to be stuck underground.

“Let’s hope that when it is reversed, as it should be, we have got the sense to get them installed underground.”

He went on to insist the very concept of the pylon had resulted from “30 years of failed energy policies from successive governments”.

“They have failed to really address the future needs of this country and we are now facing the consequences of that with their piecemeal, hurried and unplanned response to the needs we are facing at the moment,” he added.

“We are a slightly over-crowded island which is being threatened on all sides by extreme incursions on our landscapes.”

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