New power line to connect Kent wind farms to Norwich via overhead lines through Thurrock

Preliminary plans for an electricity power line from Tilbury to Norwich have been lodged with Thurrock Council.

A pre-application statutory consultation for the Norwich to Tilbury Project has been launched which will see a new 400kV electricity transmission line entering the borough from the north before heading south to connect to the Tilbury sub-station.

If approved, a new substation would connect the energy generated by offshore windfarms to the transmission network.

The new line would mainly be comprised of overhead lines but with some elements of underground cabling.

The preferred route will head south, passing Bulphan to the west and Horndon on the Hill to the east. The overhead line would then head east, before going south to cross the A13 to the north-east of Southfields. It would then go south to the west of Linford where it would transition to underground cable north of where the proposed Lower Thames Crossing would be.

The underground cable would then run south into Tilbury Substation. Work at Tilbury Substation will be carried out to connect Norwich to Tilbury.

Ri Goodyear, the Green Party candidate for West Thurrock and South Stifford, said: “Thurrock is facing a lot of infrastructure projects, the Lower Thames Crossing probably most prominent. However, unlike that, this project makes sense. As Greens we are strong advocates for renewable energy, and we know the necessity of these powerlines in unlocking offshoring wind from the North Sea.

“Community consultation is important. I’m pleased to see that the lines will be buried through our towns, rather than building new pylons, which reflects the feedback we’ve heard from locals.”

Ms Goodyear added: “The plans are still in early stages. This project has the potential to boost our industry, lower energy costs, and give us access to clean British energy, but it has to ensure the community’s voice is central.

“I would encourage readers to complete the questionnaire from the National Grid so we hear as many voices as possible. https://re-url.uk/W925

In a report on the scheme, Liam Walker National Grid’s project director for the Norwich to Tilbury line, said: “At National Grid, we are investing around £1.3 billion each year to adapt and develop our network to connect new sources of low carbon energy to homes and businesses.

“We are investing for the future, connecting more and more low carbon electricity to our network and playing a crucial role in turning the UK’s net zero ambitions into reality.”

It is the third consultation carried out by National Grid ahead of an application for a Development Consent Order from Government.

Also standing in West Thurrock and Stifford are Elisabeta Blaj (Con), Lee Watson (Lab).

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter