Say 'No to Pylons!'

DEFRA Recognises Threat National Grid Pylons Pose to Character of the Stour Valley

In response to a letter from Robert Erith, President of the Dedham Vale Society, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, has wriiten to assure the society that:

'I share your passionate concerns of the significant impact that this option will have for the landscape value of the Stour Valley. The Government’s commitment to achieve 40 GW of electricity generation from offshore wind by 2030 does not in my view preclude compliance with the number of planning protections afforded in legislation and associated guidance.'

The full text of our letter to him and his response can be read below


Since 2009, we have been campaigning for the Government to extend the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) up the Stour valley towards Sudbury.

We are told the continued delay in the boundary approval process is due to a lack of manpower in Natural England, with civil servants busy with Covid-related responsibilities. This situation is improving, helped by the Prime Minister's 30:30 pledge to give 30% of the UK's land protected status by 2030.

But now, just when we might have expected at long last to realise the extension, National Grid has surfaced with proposals for a new row of huge pylons to run from Bramford to Twinstead that would degrade not only our beloved countryside but also the prospects of getting the AONB extension approved unless we can justify the extra cost of putting the cables underground in the Stour Valley.

We now urgently need your help.

Pylon plans for the area are not new but were put on hold in 2013. At the time, National Grid had — after a long campaign by our society and others — agreed to undergrounding power lines in both the northern stretch of the Dedham Vale AONB and through the AONB extension designate across the Stour Valley towards Alphamstone. They appear to be about to renege on this decision and are challenging us to put forward our views as to whether the additional cost of underground cables (£118 million) in this location is justified.

“We are therefore seeking views from stakeholders and consumers as to whether the previous decision to underground this section still provides value for money.” (National Grid)

They have asked for our views on:

  • The landscape and cultural value of the Stour Valley
  • Progress on proposals to extend the Dedham Vale AONB boundary in the Stour valley towards Sudbury.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday 6 May so there is no time to lose. We have therefore prepared a letter for you to use either as it stands or as a basis for an email to the National Grid at the following addresses:

You can find the letter in this attachment National Grid letter May 2021

Please also copy your email to Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Rural Affairs at DEFRA, who is responsible for Protected Landscapes (National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) [email protected] and to your local MP:

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