Grid prefers overhead power lines for Suffolk and Essex

image captionNational Grid engineers are to explain why overhead lines are best

Overhead power lines are still the preferred electricity transmission system for the National Grid extending the network in Suffolk and north Essex.

Public meetings will provide additional information about a new high-voltage line between Bramford near Ipswich and Twinstead south of Sudbury.

Engineers are to explain in more detail why a new overhead line is needed and why it is the best solution.

Presentations will compare underground cables with plans for an overhead line.

The public consulted earlier this year on four potential routes asked for more information about alternatives to overhead lines.

Projects manager David Mercer said: "One key message was that it would be helpful to have further information about the alternative technologies that we considered and why we were not able to take these forward.

Cost £2m per mile

"We wanted to share this extra material with them, discuss the issues raised and listen to their views.

"We will be carefully considering any feedback we receive before we make a decision."

The line is needed to connect new generators to the electricity transmission system in East Anglia.

More than 12,000 households were sent information during the consultation and 2,100 people attended 20 public exhibitions.

Presentations were given to two county councils, five district councils, 61 parish councils and more than 50 ward councillors.

Depending upon the final route, the overhead line would be up to 18 miles (30km) long.

If consent is granted construction would begin in 2012 and end in 2016 at a cost of more than £2m per mile.

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