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Power and water issues to be probed by committee

Norfolk County Council, 7 December 2022 00:00

County councillors are to quiz power chiefs about plans for a high voltage power line network between Norwich and Tilbury.

Norfolk County Council's scrutiny committee is to probe National Grid's East Anglia Green proposed new overhead powerline between Norfolk and Essex.

Councillor Steve Morphew, chair of the scrutiny committee, said: "'As well as the day to day services the council delivers Scrutiny members need to look at some wider issues that affect the future of our county.

"Power supply is crucial. Our county's contribution to sustainable electricity generation is vital and something we should be proud of, but how it gets into the system and what benefits it brings locally are important and controversial questions."

A report to the committee says National Grid is proposing:

  • A new high voltage (400 kv) network between Norwich and Tilbury (Essex)
  • Work at existing substations at Norwich Main; Bramford and Tilbury; and
  • A new substation in Tendering

The proposed over-head power lines are likely to use pylons with a height of 45-50m at intervals of 350-400m. It is understood that alternative solutions including undergrounding, or placing the line offshore, have been discounted on technical and cost grounds.

The report says that Norfolk is already the landing point and grid connection point for a number of offshore windfarms and this will increase as more windfarms are brought online.

As it is regarded as a nationally significant infrastructure project, the Government would make the final decision on whether the East Anglia Green scheme gets the go ahead. If approved, construction would take place from 2027-2030.

The meeting will also consider a report on nutrient neutrality - Natural England's approach to ensure new development doesn't contribute to water quality issues with local rivers.

Cllr Morphew said: "Nutrient neutrality has become a significant barrier to new development. That begs the question of the impact developments have on the environment and how we avoid, mitigate and manage them. These are big questions that Norfolk residents expect councillors to be exploring.

"It's not the job of the scrutiny committee to come up with all the answers but we can make sure the right questions are asked and those with the decision making powers take account and are held accountable."

The scrutiny committee will consider the report when it meets at 10am on Wednesday 14 December. You can read the report and watch the meeting, live or afterwards.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:44

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