AN anti-pylon campaign has been given a boost after council bosses vowed to object “in the strongest possible terms” to an electricity firm’s network upgrade plans.

Essex County Council officials have revealed they intend to object to National Grid’s ambitious East Anglia Green project following the end of its consultation period.

The blueprints propose installing 110-miles of 50-metre-high pylons throughout the countryside, with Ardleigh likely to be one of the most impacted areas.

Since the plans were unveiled, concerned residents-turned-activists from the village have joined forces with campaigners across Essex, as well as Norfolk and Suffolk.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Determined to have their voices heard, they have started demonstrations through fear the scheme could prove detrimental to the rural aspects of East Anglia.

Lesley Wagland OBE, Essex councillor responsible for economic renewal, infrastructure and planning has now echoed their concerns.

She also is upset with the lack of engagement from National Grid and the short time residents and the authority has had to respond to the proposals.

She said: “Essex County Council intends to object in the strongest possible terms to the proposals being put forward in the non-statutory consultation.

“We have clearly expressed our ambition to be net zero by 2050 and the production of power from windfarms is a critical part of this.

“However, we have serious concerns, not only about the route, but also how carbon heavy the proposed scheme of overhead pylons is.

“There has been insufficient consideration of alternative approaches which would allow for the infrastructure but without the damage to the environment and landscape.

“We will be asking to meet with National Grid to discuss our concerns directly.”

Peter Schwier, climate boss at Essex County Council, also said he was completely opposed to the transmission of power using high voltage pylons.

He said: “These would be in the sky for generations to come and have a long-term negative impact on our wonderful Essex countryside as well as the county generally.

“This pylon infrastructure is neither wanted nor needed considering the viable option of undersea power cables.

“These cables could transport power to where it is needed without adversely impacting on residents, businesses and communities across Essex.”

Chelmsford Weekly News:

National Grid bosses have now responded to the concerns.

A spokeswoman said: “The Government has set an ambition to connect up to 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030 – enough green energy to power every home in the country.

"It is National Grid’s responsibility to connect new generation into the national transmission system and get it to where it is needed, safely and securely.

"We are governed by a number of licences and regulatory obligations and we’ve been carrying out assessments and studies to find the most appropriate way to achieve this in East Anglia, and in other parts of the country.

"We feel these proposals best meet our obligations.

“We have been consulting communities for the last eight weeks to introduce the scheme and ask for local peoples’ opinions.

"Residents within the immediate vicinity of our proposals have received a newsletter with information on the consultation, and we have run 12 public consultation events, 12 public consultation webinars, as well as parish council and other stakeholder presentations.

"We are listening carefully to the views of local people and will take their comments into consideration as we develop the proposals in more detail.

"There will be another opportunity to comment on the proposals before National Grid submits a planning application to the Planning Inspectorate in late 2024, who will hold hearings to examine the proposals and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State.

"The minister will decide on whether development consent should be granted.”