Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Caroline Flint MP, talks to Heartsease resident Colin Brighton about energy costs during her visit to Norwich.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Say No to Pylons: Communities must be listened to, says shadow minister

By DAN GRIMMER
Monday, November 26, 2012
12.09 PM

The shadow secretary for energy and climate change has said it is vital the views of Norfolk and Suffolk people are listened to over controversial suggestions which could see pylons built through parts of the Broads.

The shadow secretary for energy and climate change has said it is vital the views of Norfolk and Suffolk people are listened to over controversial suggestions which could see pylons built through parts of the Broads.

National Grid documents have revealed proposals for a 25-mile power line from Lowestoft to Norwich, to bring ashore energy generated by the giant East Anglia One windfarm being built off the Suffolk coast.

Campaigners fear that could lead to pylons being built on the Broads and have called for the cables to instead be placed underground.

The concerns led to the EDP launching a Say No To Pylons campaign, calling on readers to support the calls for the Broads to be protected and the cables buried, instead of destroying the landscape.

Labour shadow minister Caroline Flint learned of the campaign during a visit to Norwich, where the East of England Labour Party held their regional conference at the weekend.

The University of East Anglia graduate said wind energy could bring economic benefits, but that the views of those who believe areas such as the Broads should be protected deserve to be heard.

She said: “We need to find ways for cleaner and more sustainable energy for the future. We are the windiest country in Europe and it will be a missed opportunity if we do not maximise that.

“But we need to recognise the views of everybody involved. We also need to recognise that local communities want to protect areas of outstanding beauty and landscape, especially with somewhere like the Broads, which is so important to the local economy.

“I hope there will be discussions which mean communities can feel really involved and that they are being listened to.”

Mrs Flint also backed Norwich City Council’s ‘Big Switch and Save campaign’, which aims to get cheaper fuel bills for households by collective bargaining.

She visited the Heartsease home of Bernard Matthews worker Colin Brighten, who is hoping the scheme will save him money on his fuel bills.