Campaigners call to save British landscapes from ‘metal monstrosities’ | Nature | News

Campaigners are calling for historic rural landscapes to be protected from the “unnecessary metallic monstrosities” of new ones electricity pylons. National Grid was planned to erect 50-metre pylons 110 miles from East Anglia to transport green energy, but more than 23,000 people signed a petition urging bosses to build an offshore grid instead and prevent them from cross the country with cables.

Rosie Pearson of the Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk Pylons campaign group said: “The landscapes of East Anglia are full of churches, castles and stately homes with beautiful gardens that should be cherished. It is outrageous that the government’s latest energy policy consultation has prioritized the provision of offshore wind energy and associated onshore infrastructure.”

Members urged ministers to maintain positions, use a strategic approach to transmission planning and replace a “piecemeal” vision from energy giant and regulator Ofgem.

Instead of pylons, they want an offshore ring main that will be connected to new nuclear power plants and wind turbines.

Luke Wormald, head of the East region at the conservation agency Historic England, said: “We expect to be involved in future planning applications for the East Anglia Green scheme. Public consultation is designed to understand key issues and record how people feel to feel.”

National Grid wrote to 52,000 households on the routes last year and hopes to share planned pylon locations later this year. The project should be completed by the end of 2030.

The spokesperson said: “We are carefully considering the feedback we have received from communities.

“The East Anglia Green project is one of the essential network upgrades needed to meet the UK’s net zero target.”

Other activists oppose more pylons in the Scottish Highlands.

Energy giant SSEN is planning a 100-mile network from Spittal in Caithness to Beauly near Inverness to transport renewable energy generated there to more populated areas in central Scotland and England.

But the Strathpeffer and Contin Better Cable Route Group wants a third party to work with the company and local residents to find a less disruptive solution.

“A lot of heritage is lost”

Charlotte Banks says her historic home, where the view hasn’t changed in hundreds of years, is “zoomed into this century” by pylons.

The interior designer warned that the structures could affect three sides of her Grade II listed home in Suffolk. The 13-hectare site was given to Anna van Cleves by Henry VIII upon their divorce.

Charlotte, 60, said: “This landmark, historic building has monumental views that will be zoomed in this century because of pylons. The view hasn’t changed for 300 years.” She added that eight landmark homes in her village may be affected by the plans being considered by National Grid chiefs.

Charlotte has lived in her monumental house for 20 years. She warned that “many more” historic sites would be affected along the 110 miles of potential new pylons in East Anglia.

She continued: “A lot of heritage will be spoiled. We are custodians of the rest of England and its history. If you start placing pylons in their path, no one can buy them and no one can maintain them so that they disappear.”