Video: TV star Griff attacks pylons plan

HE'S currently appearing as the crooked and greedy Fagin on the West End stage, but Griff Rhys Jones has accused National Grid of showing a similar attitude to the residents of Suffolk

Elliot Furniss

HE'S currently appearing as the crooked and greedy Fagin on the West End stage, but Griff Rhys Jones has accused National Grid of showing a similar attitude to the residents of Suffolk

The TV star stopped off in Kersey yesterday to meet with campaigners and denounce the energy giant's plans to build a new line of pylons between Bramford, near Ipswich, and Twinstead, close to Sudbury.

Mr Rhys Jones said National Grid should listen to the public and underground the proposed new cables along with the network and preserve the historic Suffolk countryside for future generations.


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He said: “It's not a public consultation at all and the whole argument that these things should go underground has not been entered into.

“They have seen this coming for 40 years and have known that their power stations are running down and have done absolutely nothing - and now they say it's an emergency, and how can people step in the way?”

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He said the Suffolk countryside was “staggeringly important” as a world heritage site and the proposals being put forward by National Grid were cack-handed and cheap and would “wreck” the area for future generations.

Mr Rhys Jones lives in the heart of the area that would be affected by the proposals and was moved to speak out on the matter after being contacted by members of the Bury not Blight campaign group.

The members are mostly from the village of Hintlesham, which lies close to the paths of route corridors one and two, but they have secured support from across the county.

National Grid has agreed to send representatives to a one-off public meeting, organised by Bury not Blight and chaired by local county councillor Kathy Pollard on February 15.

A spokesman for National Grid said it considered every case for undergrounding “on its merits” but the cost could work out as being 12 to 17 times as expensive as installing new pylons.

She said: “We have a statutory duty to develop and maintain an efficient and economical system.

“Undergrounding can also have significant effects in terms of loss of landscape features, sterilising land assets and disturbance during construction.

“We recognise that this is a major development and we are committed to public consultation.”

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