Campaigners against controversial plans for pylons stretching from Norfolk to Essex have welcomed a General Election manifesto pledge for a review which would explore alternatives.

The Conservative Party manifesto includes a commitment for a "rapid review into the advantages of alternative network technologies, compared to overhead pylons".

It states: "The review will consider moving to a presumption in favour of undergrounding where cost competitive."

Campaigners against the proposed pylonsCampaigners against the proposed pylons (Image: Christine Murton)

Pylons have become a political issue in the South Norfolk and Waveney Valley constituencies because of National Grid's proposals for the Norwich to Tilbury line of pylons.

National Grid, which is consulting over its proposals, says the power line, which includes 50-metre high pylons, is needed to allow electricity generated by North Sea wind farms to be used elsewhere in the country.

READ MORE: Norfolk County Council opposes Norwich to Tilbury pylons

But critics, including council leaders in Norfolk and Suffolk and the Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons campaign group, said the power company has not properly considered alternatives.

They said running the cables under the sea or underground are preferable to across the countryside.

Rosie Pearson, from Essex Suffolk Norfolk PylonsRosie Pearson, from Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons (Image: Contributed)

Rosie Pearson, from the Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons, said it was "fantastic" that the Conservatives had included the review pledge in its manifesto.

She said: "There are so many alternatives - better, cheaper, faster and more popular. Why presume a pylon?"

Richard RoutRichard Rout (Image: Suffolk County Council)

Richard Rout, the Conservative candidate for the Waveney Valley, said the commitment was "great news".

He said: "We know that in Waveney Valley there are real alternatives - better, cheaper, alternatives."

National Grid has said taking the cables offshore would not meet requirements of the government and the regulator, while using pylons, rather than burying cable underground, reduces costs to bill payers.

Ben GoldsboroughBen Goldsborough (Image: Ben Goldsborough)

Ben Goldsborough, Labour's candidate in South Norfolk, said pylons were not the way forward and he would try to get the "best possible outcome" for the constituency.

But he said it would be a "downright lie" if he were to claim he could stop them being built.

He said: "We can’t continue with politicians making empty promises to garner votes."