NEARLY 6,000 residents have rallied together to fight National Grid’s plans to improve the electricity network across East Anglia.

More than 5,745 people have signed a petition to oppose the plans and call for a strategic offshore grid.

East Anglia GREEN could see a 400,000 volt electricity transmission line between Norwich and Tilbury, including a 180 km network of pylons.

But residents have been fiercely opposing the plans, hosting meetings, distributing leaflets and talking to neighbors.

Meetings have already been held in Writtle, Aldham and Cotton, with people concerned about the close proximity of the pylons to their homes and the implications for their health.

Rosie Pearson, founder of action group Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons, said it was not a consultation but “a presentation of a pre-determined option”.

She said: “The level of activity in communities along the pylons route shows the strength of feeling about this misjudged proposal.

“ It is very worrying that I am hearing wide-ranging reports about residents who were not aware about the proposals.

“ There is universal agreement amongst our supporters that National Grid and Government need to go back to the drawing board and look at a strategic offshore option.

"The proposals could also see Dedham, which lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with underground electricity infrastructure.

Speaking at the Aldham meeting, resident Seb Rees said: “Calling this project green is just greenwash!  It is environmentally and visually destructive.

“Even in the AONB the underground option is highly destructive, requiring a one-hundred metre-wide swathe of land to be dug up.”

“What National Grid is not telling people is that is perfectly possible to create a strategic offshore grid to carry this electricity.  That’s what needs to happen.”

Sir Bob Russell has also objected to the plans on environmental grounds. 

He said: "I have only in the past few days become aware of the hideous proposal by National Grid to erect 180km of 164 foot high pylons – the height of the student tower blocks at the University of Essex!

"This would be a visual blot on the landscape.

"Sir Bernard suggested that the 400,000 volts power line should be placed on the sea bed around the coast from Norfolk to Tilbury. I support that suggestion."

A spokesman for National Grid has said it is their responsibility to “connect new generation into the national transmission system”.

He added: “The government has set an ambition to connect 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030 – enough green energy to power every home in the country.

“We are governed by a number of licence and regulatory obligations and we’ve been carrying out assessments and studies to find the most appropriate way to achieve this in East Anglia, and in other parts of the country. We feel these proposals best meet our obligations.  

“We are at an early stage and we want to work closely with local communities as we develop the project further. We’re holding this consultation so people can tell us about the impacts they believe this project will have on them, and where they live.

“This is really important to us and we encourage people to talk to us and take part in the consultation.” 

For the consultation visit

You can access the petition via