Thursday, 12 February 2015

Residents pylon the pressure against National Grid

National Grid’s preferred route to run pylons between Canterbury and Richborough to link the UK to mainland Europe via high voltage underwater cables has come up against opposition from local residents.

The proposed, and preferred, route now being consulted on by National Grid, involves running 70 pylons between Canterbury and Richborough, and goes around Hersden, Upstreet, Sarre and Gore Street.

Public consultation, which will finish on 27 March, has already sparked criticism from residents, especially from the community of Broad Oak. 

CPRE Protect Kent has also called on the cables to be run underground rather than on pylons to reduce the visual impact and possibly partner up with broadband providers. National Grid has rejected this option on the grounds it would nearly double the current £170m installation costs, but has proposed pylons of two heights on the route.

The visibility of pylons often makes them a focus for opposition, and all despite the fact everyone of us would be lost without our mobiles, iPads and access to the internet, not to mention powering our homes and offices.

The proposed pylons are part of a bigger plan to build Nemo – an electrical interconnector between the UK and Belgium. And with everyone waking up to the realisation of the fragility of the UK’s energy security, surely now is the time to do everything we can to avoid the prospect of blackouts. 

Project Nemo will deliver subsea and underground cables connected to a converter station and an electricity substation in each country, which will allow electricity to flow in either direction between the two countries.

Kentcentric has no connection with the project, but would urge everybody to visit the consultation website and consider what it means for Kent, and the country’s energy security.

While some people will undoubtedly object to the visual impact, shouldn’t we all be thinking of the bigger picture – and in many peoples’ cases that’s a 55 inch flat screen TV powered by, oh let me think...

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