Residents across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex have received letters requesting land access permission in order to carry out pylon surveys. - Credit: Office of James Cartlidge MP⁄PA Wire⁄Andrew Milligan
Residents across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex have received letters requesting land access permission in order to carry out pylon surveys.
Landowners have received letters from National Grid requesting access for their contractors to carry out "non-intrusive walkover surveys across land within the corridor" of the controversial East Anglia GREEN pylon project.
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge has been contacted by a number of "concerned constituents" regarding the letters.
He said: "I am obviously extremely concerned that such steps are being undertaken when there has only just been an informal consultation on National Grid's proposals - not withstanding the many parliamentarians who believe that the consultation has not been fairly conducted."
Within the letter, National Grid says that the walkover surveys will help them to assess the "landscape, ecology and cultural heritage aspects of the area, to inform further detailed environmental assessments".
In line with National Grid's land rights strategy, they have offered an advance compensation payment of £500 upon receipt of a signed licence agreement which will be valid for a 24-month period commencing from September 2022.
However, they also state that if the above agreement is not reached, they will still be able to access land under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and the Electricity Act 1989.
Members of the 'Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons' Facebook group are suggesting those who receive the "unwelcome" letters instruct a land agent before responding, with others saying it is "premature" to ask for land access before offshore alternatives have been re-considered.
Mr Cartlidge has written to National Grid to request clarification on what agreeing to the survey and signing the contract means for the rights of his constituents, including their rights to make proposals at a later stage.
A spokesman for National Grid said: "We are continuing to develop our proposals for our East Anglia GREEN project to connect more renewable and low carbon energy in East Anglia, including needing access to land to complete surveys as the plans are developed in more detail.
"We are listening carefully to the views of local people and are grateful to local landowners.
"These surveys will help us gain more information on areas highlighted by communities and stakeholders in our first public consultation and will be taken into consideration as we develop plans for our second consultation next year."
Published by the East Anglian Daily Times.