National Grid's Bramford to Twinstead Electricity Transmission Proposals
Response from the Chairman of the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Partnership.
National Grid’s much anticipated Connections Options Report relating to how the Bramford to Twinstead new electricity connection across the nationally protected Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) might look has been made public today.
An outline of the broad corridor going through the AONB as well as the scenic Stour Valley had been announced in July 2011 and the Connection Options Report offers more detail on how the connection might look.
The report suggests undergrounding 2.5 miles of the line through the AONB and 2.5 miles of the line through the Stour Valley that is nearly 4 miles wide where the lines cross.
Robert Erith, Chairman of the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Partnership, said: ‘We give a welcome to the proposal to underground the line through the AONB but we are still concerned that the lines switch between overground and underground leading to the need for new large sealing end compounds being constructed near the AONB boundary and in the Stour Valley.’ He continued ‘Given that the setting of the AONB and the open aspect of the Valley will be affected it would seem that the best way to protect the nationally important AONB and the landscape that Thomas Gainsborough painted would be to underground from the east of the AONB to the west of the Stour Valley. National Grid does not appear to have fully considered the impact on people and businesses including those that rely on visitors attracted to this beautiful area.’
The Partnership is concerned about how National Grid has come to this decision and how they have weighted their Multi Criteria Analysis that was used to steer the decision making process. The Partnership also considers that a Strategic Environmental Assessment should have been carried out before the proposals outlined in this Connections Option Report had been published.
The Partnership considers that National Grid should have factored in a true value on all aspects of the environment before coming forward with these proposals.
The Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Partnership will be submitting full comments in due course to this consultation.