Suffolk: Tourism chief attacks pylon blight

A Suffolk tourism boss has challenged power providers to think up a ‘Plan B’ following consultation on electricity generation in the county.

Tim Passmore, chief executive of Choose Suffolk, criticised National Grid proposals for a new route of 50 metre high electricity pylons stretching across Suffolk, between its substation in Bramford, near Ipswich, and a power junction in Twinstead, near Sudbury.

Mr Passmore joined the EADT in opposing the plans, and calling for an alternative way of transporting power to be found, by saying: “There is overwhelming support in Suffolk for a whole new approach to power provision.

“The time for giant, ugly and unnecessary pylons which blight our beautiful countryside is over and National Grid need to recognise this.

“Tourism is fundamental part of our economy here providing thousands of jobs and the last thing visitors want to see is more pylons.”

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Mr Passmore asked National Grid to adopt “Plan B” and consider underground cabling as an alternative to pylons.

The energy provider recently sought views on how its underground energy policy should be updated and plans to publish responses in April.

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Mr Passmore continued: “We live in 2011 and we know that new applications for proven, efficient forms of underground cabling are being developed all the time.

“Suffolk is very proud of its green energy credentials and National Grid must now put an end to the great uncertainty our county has been experiencing for some time now.

“There are not many issues that bring so many people together but the need to stop what would be a real eye sore for many years to come must be heard.

“Cabling can go under the sea with offshore connections which in many cases is less expensive than the old-fashioned approach of pylons.”

A National Grid spokesman said: “Because the costs of upgrading and reinforcing the electricity transmission system ultimately fall on the electricity bill payer, National Grid carefully considers any requirements for undergrounding against the very high costs involved.

“We do appreciate people’s concerns about the impact of overhead lines on views of the landscape and we work hard with stakeholders to minimise the effect of our infrastructure on the landscape.

“We have committed to give detailed consideration to undergrounding sections of overhead line during the next phase of consultation.”

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