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‘Positive’ Norfolk meeting over pylons

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:32 09 February 2013

Council leaders say they had a 'positive' meeting with those behind an offshore energy scheme.

Council leaders say they had a 'positive' meeting with those behind an offshore energy scheme.

Archant

A ‘summit’ meeting over highly-controversial proposals which could see pylons towering over the Broads has been described as “positive and constructive”.

And the meeting has confirmed that there will be no publication of detailed options for any possible pylon route until the summer.

The National Grid has said a 40km power line from Lowestoft to Norwich will be needed to connect the giant East Anglia One wind farm, under construction about 43km off the Suffolk coast, to the national network.

While detailed routes have yet to be unveiled, it is feared that both the Waveney and Yare valleys could be affected and that the cables could be carried by ugly pylons.

That led the EDP to launch its Say No To Pylons campaign in November, which has been supported by hundreds of our readers.

Critics have demanded that if the scheme does go ahead, cables must be buried beneath ground, so as not to spoil the beauty of the Norfolk and Suffolk countryside.

In light of the concerns raised South Norfolk Council and the Broads Authority convened a meeting with officials from East Anglia Offshore Wind Limited- a joint venture owned 50:50 by ScottishPower Renewables Limited and Vattenfall Wind Power Ltd.

That meeting took place this week at South Norfolk Council’s offices in Long Stratton and council officials said the meeting had been useful.

A spokesman for South Norfolk Council, said: “We had a positive and constructive first meeting with East Anglia Offshore Wind Limited, which underlined its commitment to consultation.

“The situation remains that we are not expecting any announcement on options until the summer.

“South Norfolk Council look forward to further meetings with all the stakeholders, and to making sure the involvement and engagement of local people remains top of the agenda and a key priority.”

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, has previously said his council will organise and hold a public meeting when the consultation on the proposed route of the cables begins in earnest.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat members of South Norfolk Council have already unanimously backed a motion stating they would not support any-thing other than under-ground cables unless it was demonstrated that another solution was “environmentally sound and sustainable”.

National Grid bosses have said options will be revealed later this year. while promoters of the North Sea offshore wind farm which would feed the line say the cables will provide enough renewable energy to power up to five million homes.

Last month, the minister for planning hit out at “ugly pylons” which people would not want to see “march across the landscape” after hearing how the structures could be built across the Norfolk Broads.

Nick Boles explained he could not explicitly back the EDP’s campaign, because to do so would go against the principle of local decision making, which he supported.

But he did say: “What I can do is remind you and your readers that the National Planning Policy Framework which sets national policy, is extremely clear about what is and isn’t, firstly, acceptable on environmental impact.

“Secondly [it sets out] what are protected areas; and there are different degrees of [protection] and the broads probably sits in a number of those depending on which bit of the broads you are talking about, but those protections are very firm.”

You can lend your support to the campaign by visiting www.edp24.co.uk/news/say-no-to-pylons

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