Little Horsted

New Essential Infrastructure

Little Horsted

South East

Project description

At National Grid we are at the heart of Britain’s energy system, connecting people to the energy they use, safely and reliably. We keep the lights on so people can go about their daily lives. And we’re working to build a cleaner, fairer and more affordable energy system that serves everyone.

Electricity is carried from power stations, wind farms and other sources through a network of high-voltage electricity lines, owned and operated by National Grid. These electricity lines connect to hundreds of substations around the country, which then transfer electricity to local distributors, who in turn supply it at a lower voltage to local homes, schools and businesses.

This project involves the development of a new electricity supply point near Little Horsted, at the junction of Eastbourne Road with the A22. This is essential to allow UK Power Networks to connect to our network, enabling them to improve the electricity supply to the surrounding area and meet increased demand.

The new connection will involve building two new electricity substations (one for National Grid and one for UK Power Networks) and two new pylons, along with the dismantling of one existing pylon.



We started engaging the local community in 2020 to explain our plans and how we’ll be working to minimise disruption and, in early 2021, we submitted a planning application for the project to the local authority, Wealden District Council. After careful review, the District Council approved our application, meaning final planning and construction for this vital project can go ahead.

We expect to start building the two pylons and substations, and dismantling the existing pylon, from early 2023, following the appointment of a main contractor.

During summer 2022 we carried out preliminary ecological works and archaeological surveys. To prepare the site ahead of construction we cleared some vegetation, including grass, trees and scrub. We removed the trees in the centre of the site and around a 15m section of hedge near the Eastbourne Road entrance gate. This is to prepare for the bellmouth entrance the main contractor will install early next year.

Little Horsted Connection project

Watch our video to find out more about the project:

Frequently asked questions

Why is the development needed?

We are carrying out this development to provide a new connection for UK Power Networks, who need to upgrade their electricity network to meet future growth in electricity demand and to replace UK Power networks overhead lines, which are due for renewal, along an 18km route between Ringmer and Polegate.

Establishing a new grid supply point near Little Horsted, connected to UK Power Networks’ Lewes substation via new underground electricity cables, will maintain the future reliability of the network and means that UK Power Networks can remove 72 pylons between in the Ringmer area of East Sussex, including 10 in the South Downs National Park.

Under the Electricity Act, National Grid has a licence obligation to connect customers like UK Power Networks to its high voltage network in order to ensure a safe and secure network and to meet local demand.

Why has the new development location been chosen?

The site was selected as it’s near National Grid’s existing 400,000volt (400kV) overhead line. It’s also close to the strategic road network.

In choosing this site, we have avoided sensitive environmental areas such as those with nature conservation, heritage or landscape designations. The nature of the underlying topography and vegetation in the wider area also means that the site is generally well screened, with scope for additional visual screening in the form of landscape planting.

Why can’t National Grid increase capacity at an existing substation?

The connection is required by UK Power Networks in the Little Horsted area. It is not feasible to use our nearest existing substations at Bolney or Ninfield as they are not where the connection is needed.

What will the work involve?

Our work near Little Horsted involves building two new substations (one for National Grid and one for UK Power Networks) and two pylons, along with the dismantling of one additional pylon. Our work allows UK Power Networks to later remove its existing overhead line, which is made up of 72 pylons in the Ringmer area of East Sussex, including 10 in the South Downs National Park.

We want to be a good neighbour and will do all we can to minimise disruption while carrying out our work.

What is the planned timescale for construction?

Main construction will start in early 2023 and the substations will be operational by late 2024.

Before work starts, we will brief all contractors to ensure they work responsibly and are considerate to the local community. This includes a briefing on considerate driving and minimising noise when entering and leaving site.  

We will be keeping local people informed as the work progresses.

How can we find out more?

Our community relations team will keep the community informed by letter, information events and our website. There is also a dedicated free phone line and email address to contact if you have any questions or complaints about the works. See the 'further enquiries' information at the top right hand of this webpage for our contact details.

Compulsory Purchase Order

On 24 March 2022 National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc (“National Grid”) made The National Grid Electricity Transmission (Little Horsted Substation Connection) Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) 2022 to enable it to compulsorily acquire the land and rights necessary to construct and operate a new substation at Little Horsted and to connect it to the National Electricity Transmission System (“the Project”).

The CPO followed a series of negotiations where we tried to meet voluntary agreements to ensure this vital project can be delivered to meet electricity demand.

A copy of the notice confirming the making of the CPO was served on all those with an interest in the land included in the CPO and published in local newspapers.

A copy of the CPO, the maps which show the land included in the CPO, and the Statement of Reasons which explains why the CPO has been made, and the documents referred to in it, are available to view below.

The CPO has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Objections were made to the CPO and a public inquiry is due to commence on Tuesday 29 November 2022 at 10am at the Amex Stadium, Village Way, Brighton, BN1 9BL and is anticipated to run for 6 days, excluding weekend days.

Download Notice of Inquiry

At the inquiry an Inspector will hear evidence from National Grid and remaining objectors before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State about whether the CPO should be confirmed. If confirmed, National Grid will have powers available to it to compulsorily acquire the land and rights needed for the Project.

National Grid’s Statement of Case and the Core Documents that will be relied upon at the inquiry are available to view below.

View Core Document list

Further detail on the compulsory purchase process can be found in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Guidance on Compulsory Purchase Process and The Crichel Down Rules (July 2019), which is available to view and download for free online at GOV.UK.

  • Booklet No. 1 – Compulsory Purchase Procedure
  • Booklet No. 2 – Compensation to Business Owners and Occupiers
  • Booklet No. 3 – Compensation to Agricultural Owners and Occupiers
  • Booklet No. 4 – Compensation for Residential Owners and Occupiers

If you’d like more information about the CPO, please contact National Grid’s appointed land agent, Fisher German, on 01227 477870 or in writing to: Fisher German, Court Lodge Farm Offices, Godmersham Park, Canterbury, Kent CT4 7DT.

Core documents