Today we have responded to the second non-statutory consultation into the proposed new pylon line from Norwich, through Suffolk, to Tilbury.

Summary of our response:

We are extremely disappointed that this second consultation confirms that the preferred Strategic Proposal remains unchanged. On that basis the Suffolk Preservation Society continues to call for a fully coordinated offshore solution to protect our countryside and communities and to minimise onshore infrastructure in Suffolk.

As a community engagement exercise, we think this fails to engender greater transparency, trust or co-operation with affected communities.

The current consultation needs to go significantly further to address key issues of concern including:

  • Consideration of additional undergrounding especially in the Waveney and Gipping Valleys to protect Suffolk’s precious landscape and the setting of its built heritage
  • Clarity of details of the extent of rationalisation of existing 132kV lines close to the preferred route
  • Insufficient engagement with affected communities regarding appropriate community or environmental benefits, including landscape scale mitigation.
  • Unacceptable preference by National Grid for the use of standard lattice pylons with no meaningful details of alternative pylon design options including shorter lattice towers, or ‘T ‘pylons

We have raised specific issues regarding the impact on the landscape and the cultural heritage along the 60km stretch of the proposed route; the cumulative impacts with other current and proposed energy infrastructure including existing overhead lines; the potential negative impacts of undergrounding; the need for clearer details of more extensive mitigation of unavoidable harm and the need for greater community engagement in the project.

Our full response can be read here.