We are required under the Electricity Act 1989 to find a balance, developing proposals that are efficient, coordinated and economical, and which have regard to people and places. Each network upgrade must be considered on its individual merits, as required in planning policy.
The national policy statement (NPS) which covers building electricity networks infrastructure (EN-5) states that the government expects overhead lines will often be appropriate. It does, however, recognise that there will be cases where this is not so, for example, at particularly sensitive locations, where potential adverse landscape and visual impacts of an overhead line may make it unacceptable in planning terms, taking account of the specific local environment and context.
National Grid’s duties and obligations include balancing the need to be economic and efficient, which includes keeping costs down in the interests of the bill-paying consumers, with a duty to have regard to preserving amenity, which includes the natural environment, cultural heritage, landscape and visual quality.
Our proposals include underground cable within the Dedham Vale AONB, and an area of the Stour Valley.