New land status bid raises hopes for a pylon-free view

A heritage landscape near Sudbury could become unblemished by electricity pylons in future, according to conservationists.

The removal of a line of 400kv pylons at Henny and Cornard would preserve views painted by artist Thomas Gainsborough more than 200 years ago.

Action group Stour Valley Underground says there is a good chance that all pylons in the heritage area will be taken down in future in order to extend the Dedham Vale area of outstanding natural beauty to cover the affected area around Sudbury, too.

David Holland, chairman of the action group, which has campaigned to bury electricity cables underground, said: “The Stour Valley landscape below Cornard is currently proposed by Natural England to be added to an extended area of outstanding natural beauty.

“The energy regulator Ofgem now makes funding available, £100million currently, for the removal of overhead lines in scheduled landscapes.

“So while these existing 400kv pylons will stay for now, there is a good chance that the upgrade in status of this landscape to AONB status in the future will lead to the removal of all pylons.”

He said National Grid has agreed with the group’s proposals that the end of the underground cable across the Stour Valley should end further south near Alphamstone, making a further three or four 400kv pylons redundant, and they would be removed.