The preferred route
In July 2011, we announced our preferred corridor for the new connection between Bramford and Twinstead which runs south of our existing 400,000 volt overhead line. A corridor is a broad width of land within which a new overhead and/or underground cables can be placed.
In May 2012, following public consultation, we announced two areas where we believe the high cost of putting cables underground can be justified. These underground sections run through Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Stour Valley and make up more than a quarter of the route (approx 8 km). We recognise the beauty of these landscapes, their cultural associations with artists such as Gainsborough and Constable, and the nationally designated and protected status of Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In October 2012, following further public consultation, we announced our preferred route for the overhead lines and underground cables. We then began detailed work to identify the specific locations of the pylons and underground cables. This includes opportunities to reduce visual impacts of the proposals.
In January 2013, after listening to what local people thought, we confirmed where the cable sealing end compound would go on the western side of the Stour Valley. This equipment is needed to join the section of underground cables through the Stour Valley to the existing overhead line, which runs south to Braintree.
At the end of February in 2013 we confirmed that we intend to build an overhead line at the eastern end of the corridor, near Hintlesham. We are continuing to work with the local community and other organisations to find ways to reduce the effect of the new line on the landscape.
Around the same time we consulted on our plans to build a new substation to the west of Twinstead. We have now considered the feedback received and we believe on balance of all the options we have considered, a substation site south of Sudbury on the A131 is the right option to maintain local electricity supplies.
If you wish to find out how your feedback has influenced the decisions we have made, please go to the consultation and engagement pages. The technical reports can be found in the library.