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29 May 2012, 15:55 | Updated: 29 May 2012, 16:04
CAMPAIGNERS and councillors have joined forces to criticise National Grid’s plans to underground five miles of their 17-mile pylon route across south Suffolk.
The proposals announced earlier today by the National Grid will see new 50 metre electricity pylons built between Bramford near Ipswich and Twinstead Tee south of Sudbury.
A two and half mile section of the line would be put underground between Whitestreet Green and Leavenheath, which crosses through the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A second two and a half mile section would also go under the Stour Valley.
Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads, transport and planning, said:
“National Grid has finally realised that they can’t just march these pylons across south Suffolk without facing serious and co-ordinated opposition.
“But that is not to say that a small amount of undergrounding in some areas only is going to be acceptable. Taking the lines above and below ground at various point will cost considerable sums of money and require a significant amount of land to achieve the transitions. All ofthis time and money could be better used to find more appropriate ways of transferring power that do not blight Suffolk’s beautiful countryside.
“I very much doubt National Grid’s plans will be right for Suffolk as a whole.”
John Foster, national spokesman for theEssex and Suffolk Coalition of Amenity Groups, said:
“I think the report reveals National Grid’s complete failure to move with the times to respond to recent developments in regulation and technology and as a result, it has come up with the same oldarguments and the same old pylons.
“Whilst we welcome the limited undergrounding, this will have little significant impact on the blight caused by the proposed line on our spectacular countryside.”