National Grid has announced a site south of Sudbury, UK, on the A131 as the preferred location for a new electricity substation following public consultation earlier this year.
The company is proposing to site the new substation on a field with an existing 400-kV overhead line running through it, between Butler’s Wood and Waldegrave Wood, off the A131.
Listening to local views has played an important part in choosing the site. Brian Smethurst, senior project manager for National Grid, said: “We’ve been very keen to listen to the feedback from local people, and it has helped us shape our proposals. We have consulted extensively with residents and specialist bodies, and have listened to their concerns on a wide range of issues from the landscape and ecology to heritage and transport.
"Having carefully reviewed all the options and potential locations, we believe this is the best option. The site is already well screened by two large areas of woodland, with scope for more landscaping, and there is good access from the A131.
“The substation is part of a wider overhead line and underground cable connection project in Suffolk and Essex and there will be another opportunity to comment on both the substation proposals and all the other aspects of the new connection when we consult formally on the wider project."
The substation is needed as part of a proposed 400-kV overhead line and underground cable connection between Bramford, near Ipswich, and north Essex. The project will connect new, low carbon power sources in East Anglia, helping to keep the country’s lights on in the future.
The substation would allow National Grid to take down more than 25 km of an existing lower voltage line, including 83 smaller pylons, to help reduce the visual impact of the proposed new higher voltage overhead line. The substation would ensure electricity supplies to north Essex were maintained once the existing lower voltage line is removed.
National Grid consulted residents on three possible locations for a new substation – land north of Colne Valley Farm Park, land at Delyvn’s Lane (both near Castle Hedingham) and the site off the A131.
As a result of the consultation, National Grid also agreed to review alternatives to a new substation including an underground cable to National Grid’s existing substation near Braintree. National Grid carefully considered this option; however due to significant high costs and likely impacts on archaeology and biodiversity it was discounted.