Fears over move which could see pylons across swathes of Norfolk
- Credit: PA
Concerns have been raised that new electricity pylons could be built across Norfolk's countryside to bring in electricity from the North Sea.
Leaders at Norfolk County Council are so worried they are seeking talks with National Grid.
And it has also concerned MPs who have pushed for the creation of an offshore ring - connections at sea to bring different wind farms together and minimise impact when electricity is brought ashore.
The proposals were revealed in a report produced for the government by the National Grid's Electricity Service Operator.
The Network Options Assessment (NOA) recommends new links between the Norfolk coast and Bramford in Suffolk.
The National Grid's electricity transmission business will decide whether to accept that, what the route would be and whether to use pylons or cables.
And Andy Grant, cabinet member for environment and waste for Norfolk County Council, said: "The idea of electricity pylons stretching across Norfolk’s countryside is concerning.
"Anyone who values our county’s natural environment will question why underground or offshore solutions are not the default option being explored here - and rightly so.
"We will be asking National Grid for further evidence on the need for new overhead power and whether alternative options have been properly assessed.
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"Norfolk and the rest of East Anglia will be at the centre of our country’s future plans for renewable energy but this shouldn’t come at the expense of what makes Norfolk so special.”
George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk questioned why National Grid were pursuing an "old model of connectivity".
A National Grid Electricity System Operator spokesman said: “Our NOA gives recommendations to electricity transmission owners on which transmission projects should receive investment during the coming year to ensure that collectively Great Britain can achieve a secure, sustainable and affordable energy future.
"The NOA only evaluates options presented by the transmission owners and does not comment on the details of any specific option, such as how it could be planned or delivered.
"The transmission owners or other relevant parties are ultimately responsible for what, where and when they invest.”