Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter has vowed to step up the fight against National Grid’s Norwich to Tilbury pylon plans at a packed meeting of over 100 people at Offton and Willisham Village Hall.
Dr Poulter has been a vocal opponent of National Grid's plans to build a 50 metre high new line of electricity pylons across the Suffolk countryside as part of its plans to connect the electricity generated by wind turbines off the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts to the main energy grid. A new Parliamentary Inquiry is now set to bring further scrutiny to National Grid's plans.
At the meeting, Dr Poulter voiced his concerns about the current proposals and outlined to residents how they could work together to fight National Grid's plans and make the case for an alternative offshore ring main. If National Grid's current proposals go ahead, the new corridor of pylons would devastate swathes of the Suffolk countryside and prime agricultural land would be lost forever.
Dr Poulter remains concerned about the lack of meaningful engagement and transparency around the project, and believes that National Grid have pre-determined their position without looking at alternative options including more undergrounding of cables, or the viability of an offshore route for energy transmission.
Outlining next steps, Dr Poulter indicated that the Government has ordered an independent Electricity System Operator (ESO) “East Anglia Study” review of energy transmission which was due to report back before National Grid undertook their statutory consultation next year.
As a key member of the new Parliamentary Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee, Dr Poulter outlined to residents how he is working with his Parliamentary colleagues to bring further scrutiny to bear on energy transmission and electricity grid connectivity in the United Kingdom. The select committee has opened a “Flexible grid” inquiry which will examine different routes for energy transmission and which will provide another opportunity to scrutinise National Grid's current pylon proposals against the alternatives.
Dr Poulter said: "I continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with residents in opposition to the Norwich to Tilbury plans. We must do all that we can to protect the countryside and to properly examine alternative routes for energy transmission, and in particular the type of offshore options which have worked well in Scotland and elsewhere in the country.
“Whilst it is important to recognise that we must deliver greater reliability, capacity and security in our energy infrastructure, this simply cannot be at any cost, and I will continue to do all that I can to support local residents and to hold National Grid to account.”