Following the selection of our preferred corridor, we started to develop indicative alignments and carried out further work to identify whether any specific sections should be partly or wholly undergrounded.
The views of local people were canvassed through a series of Community Forum meetings. Local authorities, environmental bodies and technical specialists gave feedback through several Thematic Group meetings.
In May 2012 we published details of our indicative alignment. It included two sections of the route where the high cost of putting the cables underground was considered justifiable, these were:
- around 4 kilometres from Whitestreet Green to Leavenheath through Dedham Vale AONB
- approximately 4 kilometres in the Stour Valley, where, after listening to feedback from the public and consultees, it was clear that location was important not just for its high-quality landscape, but also its cultural links with Gainsborough, Constable and Nash.
Each of the underground sections would require a cable sealing end compound at each end to connect to the overhead lines.
Further public consultations were held over the summer of 2012 and in October of that year, we confirmed our preferred alignment and announced the next steps in the detailed design of our proposals, including:
- deciding on the preferred route at the eastern end of the route around the villages of Hintlesham and Burstall
- further consultation on the location of the connection point at the western end of the route where underground cables in the Stour Valley would connect to the existing 400 kV overhead line between Twinstead Tee and Braintree
- and identifying a site for a grid supply substation west of Twinstead, to maintain local electricity supplies and enable the removal of UK Power Network’s existing 132 kV line.