Meeting over pylon protest

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IT was standing room only at a meeting held in Wickham St Paul last week to protest against plans by National Grid to build a line of new electricity pylons and a sub-station near Sudbury.

The village hall was full for the public meeting organised by campaign groups Stour Valley Underground and Bury Not Blight – they both want the power lines to be buried.

Twinstead councillor David Holland, from Stour Valley Underground, said the evening was counted a “major success” by both organisers and residents.

“It clearly showed the strength of feeling in the local communities against further blighting of the landscape with electrical industry paraphernalia and how this is reflected by rock solid support from all levels of local government for our campaign,” he said.

National Grid recently announced its preferred route for a new line of pylons from Bramford, near Ipswich, to Twinstead, south of Sudbury, which will double the line of existing pylons, and the building of a transformer sub-station near Sudbury.

Mr Holland said residents of a number of villages affected were facing the prospect of a large swathe of Constable and Gainsborough countryside being “blighted” by the pylons.

Attending the meeting were Guy McGregor, from Suffolk County Council, David Finch, from Essex County Council, and Tony Shelton, from Braintree District Council, who gave speeches of support in favour of underground cabling.

National Grid says it is putting more emphasis on greater consideration of undergrounding in future.

A spokeswoman said: “During this next phase of the project, we’ll be looking along the entire length of the route to identify sections where undergrounding may be appropriate.”