National Grid officials were today warned that they faced a fight on their hands if they continued down a route which could see giant electricity pylons constructed in the Waveney Valley.
There was standing room only at a public meeting as residents raised their concerns about plans to connect up one of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms to the mainland.
National Grid has drawn up “indicative” proposals for a new electricity substation at Lowestoft to connect to a large offshore renewable scheme by East Anglia Offshore Wind, which is predicted to power up to five million homes.
Representatives from the electricity company told the audience at Wortwell Community Centre, near Harleston, that the Waveney Valley was an option to connect to the main grid through overhead or underground cables.
However, they stressed that no firm decisions had been made and they were making detailed investigations as to how they bring the power from the new North Sea wind turbines, set to be built from 2015, ashore.
Andrew Connolly, project manager for National Grid, said the company was obliged to find a way of connecting the wind farm, which he said would provide electricity six times that of Sizewell B.
He added that more concrete plans would be drawn up in 2012.
“All of the way down the coast is environmentally constrained and we are going to have to look pretty widely at all the possible permutations,” he said.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said he was “horrified” that pylons could be built in the Waveney Valley and was “perplexed” that it was being considered at a time when the area was being promoted as a destination because of its beauty.
Martin Wilby, deputy leader of South Norfolk Council, added: “National Grid has been given a clear message that overhead pylons are not acceptable to us. It is a special area of landscape and we need to keep it special for future generations.”