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New substation

We are proposing to build a new substation on land adjacent to Butler’s Wood and Waldegrave Wood, off the A131, south of Sudbury.

The substation is part of our proposals for a new 400,000 volt overhead line and underground cable connection between Bramford, near Ipswich, and Twinstead in North Essex.

The site for the proposed substation was chosen following public consultation in February and March this year. Having carefully reviewed all the options and taken into account what people said to us, we believe this is the best option.

The site already has an existing 400,000 volt overhead line running through it and it is well screened by Butler’s Wood and Waldegrave Wood. There is scope for more landscaping and good access from the A131.

There will be another opportunity to comment on the substation proposals, the overhead line and underground cable proposals when we consult formally on the wider project.

3D model image - Aerial view after 15 years tree growth 


3D model image - Ground level view after 15 years tree growth 


Entrance to the preferred substation site from the A131

Map of substation site 

To help you see what the substation might look like, we have provided a 3D fly through video of the proposed site. Download and view a 3D Model (wmv format) to view the substation from different locations including local footpaths and highways. 

The substation would allow us to take down 25km of existing 132,000 volt overhead line between BurstallBridge, near Bramford and Twinstead Tee. This would help to reduce the visual impact of our proposed new 400,000 volt line. The substation would maintain local electricity supplies to North Essex when the 132,000 volt line is taken down.

This 132,000 volt line is owned by the local electricity distribution company, UK Power Networks and they have looked at all the options for securing local power supplies if their line were to be taken down. These included building a new overhead line or underground cables between different points on their network. Their report explains the options available and sets out their preference for a new substation near Twinstead.

Before going to consultation we looked at UK Power Networks' assessment of the options and also concluded a new substation near Twinstead would be the most appropriate solution. Our report explains how we considered the options to replace the 132,000 volt line.

Earlier this year we consulted people on three possible locations for a new substation – land north of Colne Valley Farm Park, land at Delyvn’s Lane (both near Castle Hedingham) and land adjacent to Butler’s Wood and Waldegrave Wood off the A131, south of Sudbury. You can read in our detailed study how we identified suitable places for the proposed new substation and how options within these three study areas were developed.

Feedback from local people has helped us shape our proposals and we have listened to their concerns on a wide range of issues, from landscape and ecology to heritage and transport. We have been able to take on board some of the points raised, for example, by curving the access off the A131 to limit views into the site and by amending our fencing proposals to fit more appropriately with the character of the local area. 

As a result of the consultation, we also agreed to review alternatives to a new substation, including an underground cable to National Grid’s existing substation near Braintree. We carefully considered this option; however due to significant high costs and likely impacts on archaeology and biodiversity it was discounted. You can read in our Consultation Feedback Report how we have taken account of all the feedback received during the consultation.

Questions were raised in the consultation regarding options for replacing the existing 132,000 volt overhead line between BurstallBridge and Twinstead Tee. Both UK Power Networks and National Grid have taken the opportunity to review these options and have produced a Supplementary Information document to clarify issues raised during the consultation process. The supplementary information confirmed a new substation, west of Twinstead remains the right option to maintain local electricity supplies.