Our proposals (September 2022)

This page sets out our proposals, as presented at our targeted consultation in September and October 2022. We have now submitted our application for development consent. You can find more information about the submitted plans on the Planning Inspectorate's website (external link).

The proposed reinforcement is around 29km and includes building new pylons, some underground cables and a 'grid supply point' substation. We would also take down around 27km of existing pylons. Our proposals include:

  • up to 18km of new 400kV overhead lines
  • around 11km of new 400kV underground cables
  • four cable sealing end compounds to connect overhead line and underground cable sections together
  • removal of around 25km of existing 132kV pylons between Burstall Bridge and Twinstead Tee
  • removal of around 2km of existing 400kV pylons south of Twinstead Tee
  • a new grid supply point substation at Butler's Wood, to connect the local distribution network into the National Grid

Targeted consultation

Our targeted consultation focused on the design changes proposed following the feedback received from our statutory consultation in spring 2022. The biggest changes proposed were within the western part of the Stour Valley in the parishes of Lamarsh, Alphamstone, Twinstead, Pebmarsh and Little Maplestead. These changes comprise: 

  • moving the route of underground cables further away from Alphamstone
  • constructing a proportion of the underground cables using trenchless construction methods 
  • building a 3.5km temporary haul road from Sudbury Road (A131) to the Stour Valley west cable sealing end compound to facilitate construction of the reinforcement. 

In addition to the bigger changes in the western part of the Stour Valley, as our plans have become more refined, we made a number of other smaller changes to wider reinforcement presented at statutory consultation. These include: 

  • refining the draft Order Limits (the land we would need to build the reinforcement)
  • small changes to the proposed route of underground cables and overhead lines
  • adding, amending or removing construction access tracks, compounds and working areas needed to build the reinforcement
  • inclusion of bellmouths and highway visibility splays to provide access to working areas 
  • identifying locations where offsite highways works or restrictions may be required to facilitate construction
  • identifying locations and land requirements for the diversion or connections to third-party assets, utilities and land drainage
  • refining the environmental areas required for mitigation, compensation and enhancement