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HomeNewsFears For Wildlife After Plans Revealed For New Electricity Line

Fears For Wildlife After Plans Revealed For New Electricity Line

Newly revealed plans for a new electricity line between Kent and Suffolk have led to fears over the impact on wildlife.

National Grid’s Sea Link project aims to lay 90 miles of undersea cable that comes ashore near Sandwich in Kent and between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh in Suffolk. The Sea Link team said it was “essential in the UK’s journey to net zero.”

However, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) called the plans “a disaster”.

The National Grid said the cable would carry renewable power from offshore wind, interconnectors and nuclear power to where it is needed. A sub-station and converter station has also been planned for Minster in Kent and near Saxmundham in Suffolk.

Sea Link have said their proposals in Kent include:

  • a landfall point on the Kent coast at Pegwell Bay
  • a transition joint bay approximately 800 metres inshore to transition from offshore high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable to onshore HVDC cable, before continuing underground for approximately 2 km to a proposed new converter station
  • a 2 GW HVDC converter station, up to 26 metres high plus external equipment (such as lightning protection & railings for walkways), near Minster. A new substation would be located immediately adjacent
  • removal of up to 1 km of existing high voltage alternating current (HVAC) overhead line, and installation of approximately 2.25 km of new HVAC overhead line from the converter station and substation near Minster and the existing Richborough to Canterbury overhead line.

CPRE Kent said the project could prove a disaster for wildlife as the cable would come ashore in the Pegwell and Sandwich Bay National Nature Reserve – one of the county’s most valuable sites for wildlife.

It also said a nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) would almost certainly be adversely affected.

A series of public exhibitions begin in East Kent on Wednesday as part of an eight-week consultation, with it ending on 18th December 2023.

National Grid is expected to submit its proposals to the Planning Inspectorate next year as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

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