Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Public consulted over power plans

Pylons
National Grid says it expects concerns to be raised during the consultation.

A series of public consultations have begun over controversial plans for a new high voltage power line on the border between Suffolk and Essex.

National Grid said the existing network was running at full capacity and wanted to install a 400,000 voltage line.

Council officials have said it could spoil the beauty of the area, known as "Constable Country" after the artist John Constable who painted there.

One of four possible routes from Bramford to Twinstead will be chosen.

Public consultations

National Grid major projects manager David Mercer said he recognised that local people would have queries and concerns about the plans as power lines did have a visual impact.

He said: "This line will play a key role in helping to maintain reliable electricity supplies in Britain [as a] number of major power stations are due to close over the next decade."

If existing routes can be modified they should be used rather than [using] unbroken countryside to put up large pylons
John Maltby, Kersey Parish Council

Two of the suggested routes from Bramford near Ipswich to Twinstead in Essex already have power lines, but two others, north of Hadleigh, do not.

People living around the village of Kersey have already criticised the plans.

Suffolk County Councillor Jeremy Pembroke called on National Grid to "remember that this is one of the prettiest parts of England and that beauty has to be retained."

Parish councillor John Maltby said: "If existing routes can be modified they should be used rather than [using] unbroken countryside to put up large pylons."

The routes range from 16 miles (26km) to 18 miles (30km). The pylons would be approximately 46.5m (152.5ft) tall.

The public consultations have begun at Hadleigh Town Hall and will travel around the area, finishing at Castle Hedingham on 11 February 2010.

After these consultations, a preferred route will be decided upon and a further consultation and environmental survey carried out.

National Grid wants the line up and running by 2016.



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