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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

National Grid announces preferred option for Bramford-Twinstead Tee power connection

National Grid is today (12 July 2011) announcing its preferred corridor for a proposed 400,000 volt power connection between Bramford, near Ipswich, and Twinstead Tee, south of Sudbury, and explaining how local people can have their say during the next phase of consultation.

Following extensive consultation, the company is proposing to build a new overhead line in Corridor 2 and will be giving detailed consideration to areas where placing cables underground would be appropriate during the next phase of consultation.

The majority of Corridor 2 runs alongside an existing 400,000 volt National Grid overhead line and contains a UK Power Networks 132,000 volt line. Under this option National Grid would take down the 132,000 volt line from Burstall Bridge to Twinstead Tee and build a new 400,000 volt overhead line. A new substation will be needed west of Twinstead Tee to secure power supplies to the UK Power Networks system.

David Mercer, Construction Manager – Major Works, for National Grid, said: “We had a very good response to our consultation and we would like to thank everyone who gave us their comments. We considered carefully all the issues raised and these have been important in helping us decide which corridor to choose.”

“We will shortly be starting the next stage of public consultation when we will be asking people to help us identify a detailed alignment for the connection and for their views on the location for the new substation. We want to work with local communities to minimise the impact of any new infrastructure and we will consider areas where mitigation measures such as woodland planting, shorter pylons or placing cables underground may be appropriate.”

“The Bramford-Twinstead Tee connection is needed to connect new power generators to the East Anglian system. With a significant amount of generation due to close over the next decade, continued electricity demand and Britain’s challenge to reduce greenhouse gases, these generators will play an important role in helping to meet the country’s energy needs.”

During the summer the company will be holding six public information events to explain how it reached its decision and how people can get involved in the next stage of consultation, starting on Monday (18 July) at Hadleigh Town Hall, from 3pm to 8.30pm, and Tuesday (19 July) at Wickham St Paul Village Hall, from 3pm to 8.30pm.

National Grid reached its decision after consultation began in October 2009 with residents, local authorities, environmental bodies, and statutory and non-statutory organisations, on four route corridors. The company received more than 3,000 pieces of feedback.

Mr Mercer said: “Many of the responses to our consultation raised concerns about the potential impact a new connection would have on landscapes where there are no pylons. This was considered against the impact on the landscape with existing pylons, part of which is designated for its natural beauty.”

“Taking account of all feedback, along with our statutory duties, planning policy and environmental constraints, we believe Corridor 2 would have less impact than building in the other corridors.”

The next stage of consultation – Stage 2 - is due to start in the autumn and is expected to take a year. Local people will be able to participate in a variety of ways including independently-chaired community forums and public consultation events. National Grid will also be talking to people with an interest in the land, local authorities, environmental bodies and other organisations.

Site specific public consultations will also be under way. These will include considering the alignment of the connection at the eastern end of the corridor, where it could run north or south of Hintlesham, and the location for the substation, where three possible sites have been identified between Twinstead Tee and Castle Hedingham.

Following final (Stage 3) consultation on a proposed detailed connection design, National Grid would expect to apply for consent to the Infrastructure Planning Commission or its successor in 2013.

People can find out more information about the project by attending any of the forthcoming public information events (detailed below).

Date Time Location:

  • Monday 18 July 3pm-8.30pm Hadleigh Town Hall, The Guildhall, IP7 5DN
  • Tuesday 19 July 3pm-8.30pm Wickham St Paul Village Hall, The Green, Wickham St Paul CO9 2PT
  • Wednesday 10 August 3pm-8.30pm Hadleigh Town Hall, The Guildhall, IP7 5DN
  • Friday 12 August 3pm-8.30pm Polstead Village Hall, Polstead Green, CO6 5AL
  • Monday 15 August 3pm-8.30pm Twinstead Village Hall, Church Road, Twinstead CO10 7NA
  • Thursday 18 August 3pm-8.30pm Hintlesham and Chattisham Village Hall, George Street, Hintlesham IP8 3NH

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