Suffolk/Essex: Twinstead substation bid sparks concern

CAMPAIGNERS are to meet council representatives in Essex on Monday to discuss UK Power Network’s plan to build a huge electricity substation near Twinstead.

The energy giant has just released a document making the case for a new substation in the Twinstead/Castle Hedingham area of Essex, as part of a multi-billion pound upgrade to the UK’s electricity and gas networks.

The controversial plans could see a chain of 50metre-high pylons installed between Bramford and Twinstead, with just eight kilometres of the power lines along the 30kilometre route buried underground. Members of the Stour Valley Underground Group, which has campaigned against the proposals for the past three years, believes the organisation has not properly considered the “environmentally preferable and economic” underground cable option.

Their chairman, David Holland, said: “Instead, they have opted for the fast and dirty solution of blighting the beautiful north Essex countryside with a 50m tall eyesore.”

Mr Holland said according to the document, the new substation would have to include huge additional pylons, two transformer buildings each the size of a house, a larger building to house gas insulated switch gear and an access road, which could harm the environment and damage tourism.

He added: “The landscape to the south of Sudbury is invaluable for developing the tourism industry and it would be ridiculous to blight it with this huge industrial complex. We have gone through the document, found the flaws, and will now point them out to the general public and push for more appropriate measures.

“At the meeting next week, we will look at what has been proposed in detail before we come up with a formalised response for UK Power Networks.”

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The East Anglian Daily Times launched its Stop the Pylons campaign as soon as the plans for the Bramford to Twinstead line were unveiled.

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