Plans for new high-voltage power lines near King’s Lynn go on show

Detailed plans showing the proposed route for a new network of overhead electricity lines went on show in King's Lynn today (Friday).

The 400,000-volt cables will stretch 1.75-miles across the countryside to serve a second power station planned on the outskirts of the town.

National Grid has been consulting with landowners, residents and local authorities for the last two years to find the best route for the cables and nine 50m-tall pylons.

The �8m project will create a connection from Centrica's proposed Lynn B power station at Saddlebow, which is set to provide three times the amount of electricity than the recently-closed Lynn A facility.

Consultation began in 2010 and the preferred route, the east corridor, was announced in March last year.

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If the project goes ahead, the cables will run on land between the Ouse Relief Channel and West Winch Common, crossing the River Nar. The route avoids crossing the River Great Ouse to protect migrating birds, including swans.

The consultation will run until May 11 and the National Grid hopes to submit its planning application to the secretary of state in the summer with a view to starting work in 2014.

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Project manager Andrew Connolly said the route had been designed to have the minimal impact on homes and the environment.

'We have an obligation to connect the additional power from the new substation in the most efficient and economical way,' he said. 'Looking at the lifetime cost, it would cost about �8m for overhead cables, but �58.5m for underground cabling.'

Today's event, held at Lynn's Ramada Hotel, gave visitors the chance to see a computer-generated 3D model of the 5km surrounding the proposed route.

'The whole area was scanned and it is possible to see the overhead cables from any angle,' Mr Connolly said. 'You can see what the pylons would look like from the air, from the road or from the footpaths - even from your own back garden. It's also possible to change the seasons by removing or adding the leaves from the trees.'

A second consultation session will be held at the William Burt Centre, in West Winch, from 10am to 2pm tomorrow (Saturday) and Mr Connolly is keen to see as many people as possible.

'It's so important that people come and give their views,' he added. 'Unlike in the past, we want to get everyone's views now rather than after the planning application has been submitted.'

Centrica is expected to decide next year whether to go ahead with plans for the Lynn B power station, but because of the length of the process, the National Grid is pushing ahead with the cabling application before a decision is reached.

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