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Campaign launched to protect Waveney Valley from giant pylons

A rallying call has been issued to protect the picturesque Waveney Valley from the threat of giant electricity pylons.

Fears have been raised that a network of new high voltage power lines could be installed along the Norfolk-Suffolk border as a result of a large offshore wind farm project off the Lowestoft coast.

A “pre-emptive” community campaign has begun to stop pylons from being built in the Waveney Valley as the National Grid investigates ways to bring offshore renewable energy inland.

South Norfolk Council has called a public meeting next month to discuss the potential threat and has called for any new power lines to be buried underground.

Members of Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, Waveney District Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and local parish councils are also set to attend the meeting at 2pm on October 21 at Wortwell Village Centre, near Harleston. National Grid is also being invited to the meeting.

Martin Wilby, South Norfolk Council deputy leader, said it was not premature to start a campaign and the council wanted to show National Grid that a Waveney pylon route was a non-starter.

“The very thought of what two lines of giant pylons would look like stretched along both banks of one of the most beautiful river valleys in England is unacceptable.”

“We know there is no point to electricity generation if you can’t use it, and that it has to be brought ashore. But pylons are a solution from the 1920s we have moved on,” he said.

East Anglia Offshore Wind Limited is looking to start work in 2015 on a 7,200MW scheme, which they say will provide green energy to five million homes.

A spokesman for the National Grid said: “At the moment we are still looking at all the options. We have a potential connection in the Lowestoft area, but no decision has been made as to how we can get that wind farm connected to the National Grid. We are looking at all the potential options.”