Update – North West Action Group Update
Further to the 49 page objection from Essex County Council, there will be a motion put to the full ECC meeting of 12th July as copied below. The motion will be put forward by the leader of ECC and I will be seconding the motion and speaking in favour. I have also copied a draft version of what I intend to say.
Also, attached is a motion being put forward to Suffolk County Council on 7th July
Chelmsford City Council are considering their response on 14th July for late entry (by 16th July)
Motion to ECC 12th July:
National Grid’s East Anglia Green Project
Moved by Councillor Bentley and seconded by Councillor Steel.
‘National Grid’s East Anglia green Project, proposes an energy transmission route consisting of the construction of 180 km of 50m tall pylons carrying 400kv cables through the entire central length of our County (as well as through our neighbours, Norfolk and Suffolk), save for a section of undergrounding at Dedham Vale.
This Council has already expressed its ambition to be net zero by 2050 and the plans for renewable wind farms off the East Anglian coast is welcomed. However, This Council has serious concerns, about the nature and short period of consultation, the route, and how carbon heavy the proposed scheme of overhead pylons are which rely on 50 year old technology. Furthermore, this Council believes that:
This Council therefore calls upon:
Seconded by Cllr Steel
As a County Cllr who has several parishes that will be severely affected by the National Grid proposal, I am keen to make my views known.
I am also a Chartered Electrical Engineer, and so I am not unappreciative of the challenges in moving offshore generated power to the place it is needed. But as an engineer, I am also aware that solutions need to be balanced, fair, and when it comes to national infrastructure, subject to considered public consultation.
Whilst I fully support the concept of North Sea wind farms to generate abundant, cheap, clean electricity and that the recent increase in energy prices, coupled with the global insecurity of energy supplies gives added impetus to this strategy, I am extremely concerned that National Grid’s consultation, is only on their preferred route, having dismissed the alternative land routes and off-shore option.
I would like to see the see the off-shore route as the first preference, which avoids the need for hundreds of overground steel lattice pylons and would reduce the environmental damage, disruption and despoliation of the countryside.
I think that National Grid should hold a proper public consultation on all options, including the off-shore route, with full details and costings being made available for public scrutiny, not simply an informal consultation on their pre-selected over-ground route.
I have also joined the North and West Chelmsford parish Planning Group who have responded:
I met with our MP for our area, Kemi Badenoch, and she has co-signed a letter to Greg Hands MP, Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change along with other MPs impacted, to share representations from residents who will be impacted by the proposals as they stand (copy sent to National Grid). She has questioned why other options were not considered for this new route – including offshore and underground routes, why these options cannot be presented as part of the consultation including full details on costings and why the project cannot follow an existing power line. I am pleased to say that she has committed to working with our local councillors, neighbouring MPs and Essex County Council to coordinate our response to these proposals.
As a Chelmsford City Cllr, I am disappointed that Chelmsford City Council have not yet responded to the consultation, requiring a month’s extension for them, to allow the Policy Board to determine on the 14th July. I hope that they join in the consensus of opposition to the narrow consultation process that only asks questions about, what appears to be, a predetermined outcome!
Following the Non-statutory consultation, National Grid can be under no illusion as to the feelings of all Essex residents on the blighting of their countryside. Whilst the off shore route may add extra challenges and costs, clearly, the residents of Essex are willing to accommodate those!
Cllr Mike Steel
Member for Broomfield & Writtle
Tel: 01245 360918