CAMPAIGNERS rallying against plans to built a 112-mile pylon route across East Anglia have accused the government of “completely failing consumers, the environment and future generations”.

The project, known as 'East Anglia GREEN', would see a line of 50m-high pylons run from Dunston, just south of Norwich, down to Tilbury on the Thames estuary.

National Grid says the scheme is needed to transport the increasing amounts of energy being generated by wind turbines off the Norfolk coast, and that it will help the UK reach its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

But politicians from across the region, including Witham MP Priti Patel and Harwich and North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin, have objected to the plan, saying that the cable route should go offshore.

READ MORE: Colchester Council bosses on north Essex pylons plan

In an update letter to campaigners, energy and climate minister Graham Stuart said: “A review of connection contracts already in place is not the best approach.”

He added: “But I do recognise the concerns and agree we need to find ways of improving this situation.”

Gazette: The East Anglia Green Energy Enablement (GREEN) project is a proposal to build a new high voltage network reinforcement between Norwich, Bramford and TilburyThe East Anglia Green Energy Enablement (GREEN) project is a proposal to build a new high voltage network reinforcement between Norwich, Bramford and Tilbury

Mr Jenkin, chairman of the Offshore Electricity Grid Task Force (OFFSET), said: "I am disappointed the minister says he will not review existing connections.

“But I do welcome the renewed emphasis on the coordination of transmission infrastructure.

“I and other members of OFFSET will meet with the minister of state shortly and will continue to press for an offshore alternative to East Anglia GREEN and the coordination of windfarm connections."

He added: “The environmental and societal impacts of National Grid’s project will fall disproportionately on my constituents in north Essex, although they will see little benefit from the new infrastructure in their own lives.

“On the contrary, the impact is all negative. The new transmission infrastructure is primarily required to transport electricity from offshore wind farms off the east coast and from new nuclear builds on the coast to London.”

READ MORE: North Essex pylon scheme reaches 'crunch time'

Campaigner Rosie Pearson said: “Tens of thousands of people across East Anglia are sick of hearing nothing can be done.

“It is not too late. This government is barely paying lip service to the need for an offshore strategy in the North Sea.

“The offshore wind sector is a great success for our country but when it comes to the transmission of power generated offshore, state policy is an abject failure that needlessly costs communities, consumers, future generations and the environment.”

National Grid say the East Anglia GREEN proposals "align with current regulatory and planning policy frameworks".

"If either of these change then we would re-examine our proposals," they said.

"There will be another opportunity to comment on the proposals before we submit a planning application to the Planning Inspectorate in late 2024, who will hold hearings to examine the proposals and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. 

"The minister will decide on whether development consent should be granted.”

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