'Insufficient evidence' long line of plyons through two Essex villages is needed

Chelmsford City Council has said there is "insufficient evidence" that powerlines set to be built through Chelmsford are needed by 2030. The city council said it was concerned over a National Grid plan to run powerlines from Norwich to Tilbury which it says would have "harmful landscape impacts, potential for harm to residential amenity and in particular the harm to designated heritage assets".

It says "there is significant concern" regarding the impacts on heritage sites in the villages of Little Waltham and Great Waltham, which the route passes close by. There is also significant concern that the archaeological remains of an Iron Age settlement in Little Waltham could be impacted by the pylons. It says this area may be of national significance and therefore further work is needed to determine the extent of the archaeology.

In its objection to the 2030 pylon plan, the city council said the accelerated consultation programme had taken it 'outside the scope' of Holistic Network Design (HND) as part of the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR). The council's preferred strategic option for Norwich to Tilbury is using offshore technology for the powerlines that would minimise the use of overhead powerlines and pylons onshore through the East of England.

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Councillor Rose Moore, Chelmsford City Council cabinet member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford, said: "Please be assured that while the need for this clean energy transition is fully understood it's proposed that the city council maintain our objection in principle to the use of onshore pylons and power lines

"We object because insufficient evidence has been provided to show these power lines are needed by 2030 and that the accelerated program of consultation has taken the project outside of the scope for what we call holistic network design as part of the offshore transmission network review.

"Notwithstanding the overall objection in principle the city council has provided comments on the proposed alignment and raises confirmed concerns over the harmful landscape impacts the potential for harm to residential immunity and in particular the harm to designated heritage assets along the route."