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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 take over and supply it to homes, schools, factories and other customers. 

This project involves the development of a new electricity supply point near Little Horsted, at the junction of Eastbourne Road with the A22. It 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 plan to submit our planning application in late Autumn following our community engagement sessions in early September 2020. Please get in touch with the community relations team (details below) if you were unable to attend an event or would like a copy of our presentation and project information leaflet.

If approved, we will start building the two pylons and substations, and dismantling the existing pylon, in early 2023. This will take approximately 18 months to complete. In preparation for this, we will also need to carry out some preliminary ground clearance works in 2022.

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 proposed site was selected as it is in close proximity to National Grid’s existing 400,000 volt (400kV) overhead line. It is 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 will involve 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. If planning permission is granted by Wealden District Council, our work will allow UK Power Networks to remove their 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?

Subject to planning approval, preparatory work will start in 2021 and main construction will start in January 2022. The substations would be operational by mid-2023.

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 about the plans?

We have our community relations team who will keep the community informed about our plans by letter, information events and our website. There is also a dedicated phone line and email address to contact if you have any questions or complaints about the work which is managed by our team. You can get in touch by phone on 0800 6525 180 or email:[email protected].

We value your feedback so if you have any queries or concerns please get in touch with our team. Our phone line is operational Monday to Friday, 9am–5.30pm. An answerphone is available outside these hours, so please leave a message and your query will be picked up on the next available working day.