Pylons Information Page

This page will be the repository for Parish Council information about National Grid’s proposed major new pylon route across East Anglia, which would pass through Langham Parish.

We will also provide further information and links here, to assist any villagers who wish to undertake their own research and make their own representations, regarding this huge potential infrastructure project.

Langham Parish Council Position Statement

East Anglia Green Energy Enablement Planning Proposal (Planning Application 221119)

Langham Parish Council, which represents an Essex village of around 1,200 residents objects to the above planning proposal based on a complete lack of transparency in arriving at the proposed solution put forward for consideration during the National Grid non-statutory public consultation, which runs until 16th June 2022.

The proposal does not provide an analysis of the distinct options available to deliver a 400kV electricity line over a distance of approximately 180km covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex plus a new 400kV connection sub station. There is a real concern that although this is called a public consultation the decision has already been made by National Grid for a new pylon run to be overground. Other power trunking projects around the UK are being planned for delivery by subsea cables in advance of the East Anglian “Green” project (eg. the Eastern HVDC Link connecting Eastern Scotland with Yorkshire). Why then is subsea not being considered as a serious alternative to the East Anglian “Green” project?

Langham Parish Council is of the opinion that, as far as is practicable, new offshore generated electricity should be transmitted offshore, making landfall as close to the target population centres as possible. Consequently, we support the OffSET Task Force, campaigning for an offshore grid, which is firmly in the interests of business (both offshore windfarms themselves and wider interests such as Sizewell and Felixstowe Freeport) and would help to futureproof the network.

National Grid themselves estimate savings of £6bn for consumers from a coordinated offshore grid. Yet, despite all of this, the ‘top level’ choice of overground vs undersea has been presented by National Grid as a ‘fait accompli’, without any public consultation. Instead, the consultation is restricted to expressing views on a narrow ‘swathe’ of overland routing, through precious open countryside, offering no real policy choice to numerous villages along the route. Plans to bury the cable to cross the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) endorse the view that this scheme is a real blot on the landscape and will affect future tourism at all the beautiful villages along the route. Also, there is little information on what the AONB interconnections sites might look like and the scope of these.

Given that East Anglia GREEN project involved an initial decision to reject an undersea option, and that this is meant to be a public consultation on the ‘choice’ of how the electricity is transmitted, at the very least we would expect the Government to expand the consultation to permit the public to express their views on the wider choice of overland vs undersea.

Langham Parish Council are engaged with this project and supports the response to Government that had been compiled by Essex County and Colchester Borough Councils. This states:

“National Grid’s current proposals for a new over-ground pylon route across much of its East Anglia is totally unacceptable. We fully support of the concept of North Sea wind farms to generate abundant, cheap, clean electricity. Furthermore, the recent increase in energy prices, coupled with the global insecurity of energy supplies gives added impetus to this strategy. At the recent public consultation events, National Grid confirmed that upgrades to the offshore route was a viable alternative.

Therefore, our strongly preferred approach is an upgrade to the offshore route. By doing so, the environmental damage, disruption and despoliation that would be caused to East Anglia by the installation of hundreds of over-ground pylons would be minimised.

We demand that National Grid holds a full public consultation on all options, with full details and costings being made available for public scrutiny, not simply an informal consultation on their pre-selected over-ground route.

We will continue to lobby National Grid and the Government to ensure that all necessary infrastructure is delivered in a sustainable manner. For us, this means moving the proposed new pylon route to an offshore location.”

We would urge all Langham residents to have their say on National Grid’s consultation questionnaire on their consultation portal. We would also invite you to consider signing the petition for offshore upgrades as an alternative.

This campaign group have also recently released an alternative consultation questionnaire (their Pylon Action Survey) which asks a wider range of questions than those offered by National Grid in their official survey. If you agree that the National Grid consultation is too narrow in its scope, then please consider completing this alternative survey as well.

Langham Parish Council                                                                                                                            7th June 2022

Other News Items and Links

Sir Bernard Jenkin’s publications:

Letter to Liam Walker National Grid >>

Email to residents >>