South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon voices opposition to National Grid's East Anglia GREEN
The MP for South Norfolk, Richard Bacon, has met with with top cabinet officials to discuss the controversial East Anglia GREEN project.
Bacon assured worried residents that the Government was aware of the strength of feeling towards the project – which will see new electricity pylons and cables stretching across the region – following a meeting with Energy Minister Greg Hands last week.
The plan will see 50-metre-high pylons built along the A140, running between Bressingham and Roydon, towards its destination at Tilbury, on the Thames estuary.
Bacon, who has served as MP for South Norfolk since 2001 – said: “I know that many constituents are quite rightly furious with these proposals and I am grateful to the Energy Minister for taking the time to meet us.
“He was left in no doubt about the strength of feeling on this issue and that our constituents are deeply concerned about the significant environmental damage which this proposal would inflict upon South Norfolk and the East Anglia Region more widely.”
National Grid is currently holding a consultation on its ‘East Anglia GREEN’ project, which it says is needed to help the UK achieve its ambition of net zero emissions by 2050 – and because the current infrastructure is not fit for purpose.
Bacon did not mince his words when addressing the consultation.
“Indeed, the basis for National Grid’s consultation is so flimsy that it is almost certainly legally flawed,” he said.
“It looks very obvious that during this process National Grid have already improperly closed off options.
“This means that in the future National Grid will be unable to rely on what they have done now and crucially that the Planning Inspectorate cannot lawfully accept National Grid’s application for a development consent order.”
Many have suggested undersea cable route, known as ‘Sea Link 2’, as a viable alternative to the East Anglia GREEN project – an idea that was endorsed by the Conservative MP.
He said: “As a bare minimum, the options which have already been improperly foreclosed will need to be revisited and consulted upon with a demonstrably open mind, providing the public with sufficient information to have a fair opportunity to advocate sensible alternatives.
“It is already government policy that we should have an offshore grid. The obvious conclusion is that we should have a sub-sea route for the cabling too.”
Residents and business owners across the Diss Express region have been opposed to National Grid's plans.
Last week, the owners of Bressingham Steam Museum and Gardens warned that the project could spell the end for their business.