Priti Patel warns 110-mile pylon plan will blight landscapes

Priti Patel has warned a “corridor of metal” electricity pylons will blight some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and harm the environment.

The former Home Secretary called for energy bosses to reconsider plans for a 110-mile stretch of 164ft pylons in swathes of East Anglia.

Writing in the Express, she warned parts of the countryside could be “lost forever” because of the proposals for the transportation of green energy.

The Tory MP for Witham said: “Going through Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, this corridor of metal will blight some of our most beautiful landscapes and harm the environment.

“National Grid, the Government and the commercial interests involved must take note of our concerns and revise their plans otherwise parts of our countryside will be lost forever, and an opportunity to create a sustainable new offshore energy grid will be missed.”

More than 23,000 people signed a petition urging energy bosses to instead build an offshore grid, and avoid criss-crossing the land with cables.

Ms Patel supported these calls which she suggested could help the UK sell electricity to neighbouring nations.

She said: “An offshore grid also looks to the future and can facilitate more wind farm electricity generation as well as opening up opportunities to sell electricity to neighbouring countries.

“With the benefits of an offshore grid being clear, MPs from across the region have been standing up for our communities by opposing the pylons and pressing for an offshore grid.”

National Grid last year wrote to 52,000 households on the routes in East Anglia and it hopes to share intended pylon sites later this year. The project would finish by the end of 2030.

Rosie Pearson of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk Pylons campaign group said East Anglia’s landscapes are full of churches, castles and country houses with wonderful gardens which should be treasured.

She added: “It is outrageous that the Government’s latest energy policy consultation seeks to prioritise the delivery of offshore wind and associated onshore infrastructure.”

A National Grid spokesman said: “We are carefully considering the consultation feedback we’ve received from communities and stakeholders across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex as we develop our East Anglia GREEN proposals further.

“The project is one of the essential network upgrades needed to deliver on the UK’s net zero target – without it, cleaner, greener energy generated offshore would not be able to be transported to homes and businesses across the country.

“Connecting more clean British electricity sources, such as offshore wind, will reduce our reliance on global fossil fuels, and will help reduce electricity bills for everyone in the long term.

“The UK government and our regulator Ofgem require us to develop proposals which represent value for money for consumers, while being in line with current planning policy and licence obligations.”

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