It is hard to believe that Suffolk County Council Conservatives are backing another row of pylons through the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whilst making noises about undergrounding and undersea options they are failing to stand up for the Suffolk countryside. Surely the landscapes captured by Constable and Gainsborough deserve better protection than this?
They say in their recommendations that “Corridor 2b would cause the lease environmental damage” but this is the very route that goes through the AONB and there can be no guarantee that National Grid will consider undergrounding either the AONB section or the very sensitive and picturesque Stour Valley section. Of course we don’t want pylons along any of the corridors but to imply that Corridor 2b is the least damaging route is ludicrous. We have now asked that the matter be considered again at the County Council meeting on Feb 18th.
Some points to consider:
- Somerset County Council has not chosen either of the two corridors proposed by National Grid. See www.pylonthepressure.co.uk for information on the Somerset anti-pylon campaign.
- The proposed new 400kv pylon route will not be needed until the end of this decade as neither the new nuclear reactors at Sizewell or Phase 2 of the Greater Gabbard offshore windfarm will come on stream until then. This gives time to consider other options like a high voltage DC undersea supergrid as described on the Stour Valley Underground website www.stourvalleyunderground.org.uk/.
- When the recently announced Wave 3 offshore windfarms are built there will not be enough capacity to carry the power through the proposed new pylon route. So the current proposals are only a short term solution.
- Four of the five campaign groups/countryside organisations want undergrounding on any chosen corridor. These are the Dedham Vale Society, Colne-Stour Countryside Association, Stour Valley Underground and Bury not Blight, who presented a petition of more than 300 signatures to Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet meeting yesterday.
- Braintree District Council has already rejected all four overhead options and asked for undergrounding instead. What a pity Suffolk County Council are not inclined to do the same. It is time to stand up and be counted on this issue! Babergh District Council consider this matter at their meeting on February 11th.