Hundreds of people, including council leaders and MPs, staged a protest over controversial plans for 50-metre-high pylons to be built over swathes of the Norfolk and Suffolk countryside.

The gathering on the Norfolk and Suffolk border was against National Grid's contentious proposal to install the 112-mile line of pylons, stretching from Dunston, near Norwich, to the south-east.

The power company - which consulted over the Norwich to Tilbury project in the summer - said the scheme is needed to take energy from wind farms off the Norfolk coast to increase supply as demand increases.

Eastern Daily Press: Campaigners say pylons would devastate communitiesCampaigners say pylons would devastate communities

But campaigners say the towering structures will have a devastating impact on the countryside and communities, such as Diss.

They say not enough has been done to explore alternative options, such as putting the cables offshore, under the sea.

Christine Murton, from Wortham Ling, organised the protest.

Eastern Daily Press: MPs, including Central Suffolk and Ipswich North's Dan Poulter and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon spoke at the protestMPs, including Central Suffolk and Ipswich North's Dan Poulter and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon spoke at the protest (Image: Christine Murton)

Norfolk County Council leader Kay Mason Billig and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon were among those from Norfolk who attended Saturday's protest in Wortham Ling, close to the Norfolk and Suffolk border.

Conservative MP Mr Bacon said: "The fact there are so many people here from across the counties shows what popular support there is for this campaign. What we need is to bring the power ashore much more closely to where it is being used."

Eastern Daily Press: Rosie PearsonRosie Pearson (Image: Contributed)

Rosie Pearson, from action group Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons, who spoke at the protest, said it would be a "travesty" for pylons to be built in the area and that the group would keep fighting the plans.

National Grid says an offshore grid would be costlier to energy bill-payers and have less capacity, but Mrs Peason said it was "baloney" that it would be more expensive.

Leaders of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex county councils have written to National Grid, urging a rethink over the power line project.

Eastern Daily Press: Rishi SunakRishi Sunak

Campaigners are also waiting to see what impact prime minister Rishi Sunak's "comprehensive new reforms to energy infrastructure" will have on the project - if any.

Last week, Mr Sunak said there could be compensation for people in areas impacted by new infrastructure - but action group Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons said they did not want "token cash bribes".