District councillors gave their overwhelming backing to a campaign against giant electricity pylons in Norfolk and Suffolk, amid concerns about a potential route to bring offshore energy ashore.

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Members of South Norfolk Council supported a motion calling on National Grid and other relevant agencies to bury power cables connecting a new North Sea wind farm to the main grid, if a decision is made to run lines through the district.

Councillors backed the EDP’s Say No To Pylons campaign at a full council meeting last night after the possibility was raised that new overhead lines could run from Lowestoft to Norwich as part of the construction of the East Anglia One wind farm off the Suffolk coast.

National Grid officials have drawn up indicative proposals to connect the wind turbines set to be built from 2015 to the main grid, which could result in plans for pylons in the Waveney and Yare valleys.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors unanimously backed a motion resolving that South Norfolk Council “will not support any arrangement for the future transmission of strategic electrical power through the district other than by means of underground cables unless it is first demonstrated to its satisfaction that any alternative solution is both environmentally sound and sustainable.”

John Fuller, council leader, said the authority needed to be “realistic” that the cables connecting the wind farm to the main grid could end up running through South Norfolk. “We know what we like about the Norfolk countryside and the fantastic contribution it makes to the environment and the economy.

“It is a very important issue in getting offshore electricity onshore. We must be on our metal and have a good understanding of all the issues. It seems to me that this council should not be afraid to say we have a predisposition to say they should be buried underground and we need to make the case for them being buried,” he said.

Councillors pledged to work closely with the Broads Authority to oppose any pylons in the Broads and Waveney Valley and will write to National Grid and any other relevant agencies setting out their position on the matter.

Martin Wilby, South Norfolk Council deputy leader, added that the district council had an important role to play to ensure that all residents and parish and town councils are listened to as National Grid officials develop their proposals. Plans for a new 25-mile cable line running from Lowestoft to Norwich are at an early stage and National Grid is set to publish more detailed route options in 2013, which would be followed by a full public consultation. Promoters of the North Sea offshore wind farm say the development will provide enough renewable energy to power up to five million homes. More than 150 people attended a meeting in Wortwell last year where people raised their concerns about a potential pylon route running through the Waveney Valley.

5 comments

  • A good decision, and one which is well proven with the undergound routing of the cables from Sheringham shoal to Salle. Now all we need is the same attitude to the equally ugly, and pointless, onshore wind turbines!

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    Windless

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Obviously of no financial benefit to any of those concerned, otherwise it would have been passed. Equally surpised (?) to see the solar farm at Thornham turned down by West Norfolk. I expect arrests will follow shortly.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • I seem to recall John Fuller doing everything in his power and a bit more in an effort to ensure the proposed wind turbines at Lotus were given the green light. The Norfolk countryside was not important to him then!!!

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    Alby

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • SNDC opposition to pylons is specific and nimby, just not near the waveney valley and the Broads, when these pylons should not be installed anywhere, their powerfull HV radiation is changing peoples quality of life and are linked to many health risks, they should be dug in everywhere, especially in urban conurbations.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Since when the the Councillors of South Norfolk care about the people of that area? And could we please have the reason why the National Grid need to add pylons at all to the existing pylon stock in Great Britain. You can feed electricity into the Grid by any electricity pole in the country. So instead of the Councillors of South Norfolk getting up on their hind legs, full of pretendy concern, could they please tell us the scientific facts of the matter? We're not all as stupid as the people who vote for you Mr Fuller.

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    Electra

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

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