CPRE Essex responds to National Grid pylons consultation

CPRE Essex has given a strong response to the National Grid consultation on the East Anglia GREEN scheme, which will entail a new line of pylons running from Norwich to Tilbury.
The response, submitted by Tricia Moxey, CPRE Essex vice-president, reads:
“CPRE Essex is deeply concerned by National Grid’s East Anglia Green Energy Enablement (GREEN) proposal of an additional 400kV pylon line from Norwich to Tilbury.
“CPRE Essex appreciates that the UK has to reach net zero targets and achieve greater energy security through the increased use of renewable energy, but requests that consideration be given to solutions for energy generation and transmission that are better and greener.
“Emphasis should be on technologies which will minimise any impact on farmland and the visual quality of tranquil and historic Essex landscapes. Much of this proposed overground route across the county passes through landscape areas which are deemed to be sensitive to change.
“Whist overgrounding is the currently accepted norm, other than in designated areas such as the Dedham Vale AONB,  such technology was developed at least 7 decades ago and we request that more research be undertaken to develop newer methods to deliver a greener infrastructure to support green energy generation.
“The UK already receives energy via undersea cables from several European countries, so it should be feasible to utilise similar cables to link the proposed offshore windfarms with suitable lengths of cable thus minimising any overland pylon connections to shorter routes to the required substations.  Please can this option be considered?
“This would avoid the industrialisation of sweeping landscapes, minimise disruption to amenities and some loss of productive farmland, avoid visual intrusion on the settings of historic buildings,  remove the need to protect the many archaeological sites along the proposed route and finally reduce the potential for disruption to energy supplies by cable damage caused by high winds or bird strikes.
“Collaborative efforts with CPRE, the countryside charity, are underway to arrange for discussions with teams from National Grid to address a range of key issues, including:

  • Proposals to mitigate the cumulative impact of National Grid energy infrastructure by consolidating rather than duplicating its projects and consider possible alternatives to overgrounding
  • Consideration of local generation of energy for local use
  • Proposals to boost biodiversity and environmental net gain along National Grid’s proposed GREEN route
  • National Grid’s compensation plans for communities for losses to their landscapes and amenities

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