Conservative Parliamentary Candidate says “it’s time to pause” Norwich to Tilbury Pylon plans
The Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Waveney Valley, Richard Rout, has today called on National Grid to “formally pause” plans for a new pylon run between Norwich and Tilbury, in the light of a report commissioned by Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, in order to properly consider alternatives to the proposals – including an integrated off-shore grid.
At Suffolk County Council, as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance & Environment, Richard leads on the response to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), including the Norwich to Tilbury proposals. In this role he has become one of the most experienced politicians in the UK at dealing with large energy schemes.
The new independent report commissioned by the three county councils does not support National Grid’s ‘needs case’ for the project, which points to a connection date in 2029 and 2030. Instead, the new report suggests Norwich to Tilbury will not be required until 2035 or later as some new schemes come forward more slowly than originally anticipated.
“I’m delighted that, at my instigation, the three county councils commissioned this report.
“It clearly demonstrates that proposals for the new pylon run could be paused, while we properly investigate alternatives including an off-shore grid.
“I’ve been saying for some time that the proposed energy schemes, such as new offshore wind farms, on which the need for these new pylons is predicated, are not coming forward as quickly as National Grid predicted. Most recently, we saw no bids in the latest round of offshore wind auctions.
“Given this window of opportunity, I’m calling on National Grid to formally announce they’re putting the project on ‘pause’ while they properly investigate and cost alternatives, such as the off-shore grid option or undergrounding, which would relieve the strain on so many communities across Waveney Valley and protect our unique landscapes.
“Pausing the project will enable us to establish not only the feasibility of an off-shore alternative to these pylon proposals but also how a coordinated offshore approach could mesh with, and deliver on, our energy security goals.
“The current pace with which National Grid is pursuing these proposals appears unfair on communities and consumers when genuine alternatives may exist.”
Notes to editors:
Link to the full report: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/asset-library/n2t-the-hiorns-report.pdf
Link to the non-technical summary of the report: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/asset-library/n2t-joint-councils-non-technical-summary-of-the-hiorns-report.pdf
Meet Your Local Conservative Team