Today Sir Bernard chaired a meeting of OFFSET MPs and the Minister for Nuclear & Networks Andrew Bowie MP.
The MPs pressed the minister to flesh out new plans that would replace the 110 km proposed pylons.
Sir Bernard Jenkin said, after the meeting, “We made clear the sheer scale of the opposition to National Grid’s ‘East Anglia Green’ proposals. We asked what the purpose is going to be of a second non-statutory consultation on these plans, without alternative plans to consider. The minister accepted the point. The existing plans are contracted, in some cases, but still subject to planning permission, so nothing is set in stone. Again, the minister accepted responsibility on this point. We are pleased that National Grid has announced an off-shore review, to look at offshore alternatives. The problem is that wind farm developers already have plans for connecting to the national grid, and are under time pressure. Unless the government can provide new policy and the regulatory framework necessary for an offshore proposal in good time, then why is the government bothering to spend money the government is spending on possible alternatives? I am pleased however that the minister sounded determined to grip this, and promised a timeline of decisions needed and when they will be taken. Unless these plans change radically, I also explained that the Pylons Campaign legal advice suggested that East Anglia Green could be stopped in the Courts, which would lead to unacceptable delays to the Net Zero objective.”