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Public to have say on a £2 billion, 140km-long overhead electricity line which will pass Grimsby, Louth, Skegness, Boston, Spalding and Holbeach

The public will be given the chance to have their say on a £2 billion, 140km-long overhead electricity line which is planned to pass through Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire County Council have already spoken out against the National Grid’s plans, with Coun Colin Davie fearing it will ‘carve up our beautiful landscape’ and affect tourism.

Now the public will be able to have their say on the proposals, which intend to run cables and pylons from Grimsby to Walpole in Norfolk, at a number of consultation and webinar events, beginning tomorrow (January 23).

A new 140km-long overhead electricity line could be created from Lincolnshire to West Norfolk – with a new substation installed here too. Picture: iStock
A new 140km-long overhead electricity line could be created from Lincolnshire to West Norfolk – with a new substation installed here too. Picture: iStock

The proposed route would travel from Grimsby along the east coast of Lincolnshire until Burgh le Marsh, west of Skegness.

It would then cut inland and bypass Boston to the west around the Carrington, Gipsey Bridge, Brothertoft and Kirton End areas.

The River Welland section of the route would cross the river between Spalding and the Wash, continuing on land between Spalding and Holbeach before reaching the Weston Marsh substation.

National Grid's proposed new Grimsby to Walpole network. Picture: National Grid
National Grid's proposed new Grimsby to Walpole network. Picture: National Grid

Following this, the route continues to head south, west of Weston and east of Spalding, crossing of the A151.

From here, the corridor continues east, crossing the B1165 north west of Whaplode St Catherine, continuing through South Holland until reaching Walpole.

Ben Muncey, project director for Grimsby to Walpole, said: “This reinforcement between Grimsby and Walpole is essential in the UK’s journey to net zero by 2050 and is part of a wider programme to upgrade the entire network.

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“We look forward to hearing views from members of the public and we welcome feedback on our proposals.”

The project forms part of The Great Grid Upgrade, the largest overhaul of the grid in generations, with new infrastructure across England and Wales helping the UK to meet its net zero ambitions, reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to lower energy bills over the long-term.

Grimsby to Walpole would be able to transport six gigawatts of power and connect proposed new sources of electricity that are planned to come onshore on the east coast.

The project involves proposals to build a new 400,000 volt (400kV) overhead electricity transmission line and five new substations – including one at Walpole.

It would run between two new 400kV substations in Grimsby and Walpole, with three new connection substations along the route.

The upgrade is required to support the UK’s net zero target by reinforcing the electricity transmission network in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk.

National Grid officials said much of the existing high-voltage electricity transmission network was built in the 1960s and does not extend into large parts of Lincolnshire.

“With the growth in power flows on the network from increasing offshore wind and interconnectors, the amount of electricity landing on the east coast and flowing through the Lincolnshire region by the end of this decade will be more than the existing network can currently accommodate,” they said.

Carl Simms, senior project manager at National Grid, said: “Based on what we are seeing, by 2033 we will need to transport 29 gigawatts, so we need to increase the network through that part of the country (Lincolnshire).

“Before we go about building brand new infrastructure, we also need to make the most of the existing overhead lines and substations we currently operate. We are looking to do that.”

He added: “We are keen to work with local communities and organisations so they can be involved in these proposals.”

Mr Simms said that the company would “take account of local factors” and “avoid making significant impacts on the environment”.

“We want to work directly with the communities to ensure there’s a positive impact,” he added.

“We want to leave the areas in a better state environmentally than when we first started.”

The government has said that the investment in onshore network infrastructure could support up to 130,000 jobs and contribute an estimated £4-11bilion of GVA (gross value added) to the economy in 2050.

National Grid's current expectation is to hold a statutory consultation this time next year, before making a planning submission in 2027.

If permission was granted in 2028, work could start in 2029 – with the network becoming operational in 2033.

However, Mr Muncey said: “If we are able to accelerate those dates, that’s something we would look to do.”

The cost of the project is expected to be in the region of £2billion – which National Grid said was the most cost-efficient proposal it considered, compared to an underground network which would cost in excess of £12billion or offshore (in excess of £10billion).

As part of the consultation, members of the public will have the opportunity to share their feedback on the proposals, including the preliminary route, design, and substation siting areas.

A total of 11 in-person consultation events and eight online webinars will be held.

These will be held at: Tyde St Giles Community Centre, January 31, 2pm-7pm.

Moulton Seas End Village Hall, February 2, 2pm-7pm.

Springfield, Burgh Le Marsh, February 7, 2pm-7pm.

Alford Corn Exchange, February 10, 11am-5pm.

North Thoresby Village Hall, February 13, 2pm-7pm.

Eastville, Midville, New Leaker Village Hall, February 16, 2pm-7pm.

Walpole Community Centre, Wisbech, February 20, 2pm-7pm.

The Pavilion, London Road, Louth, February 22, 2pm-7pm.

Oaklands Hall Hotel, Grimsby, February 24, 11am-5pm.

Hubberts Bridge Community Centre, February 27, 2pm-7pm.

Alvingham Village Hall, February 29, 2pm-7pm.

The project webpage can also be viewed at nationalgrid.com/g-w.

A series of online webinars, including a general overview and introduction to the proposals, as well as further information on different stretches of the plans will also be held over the coming weeks.

Webinar sessions:

Introduction to Grimsby to Walpole project proposals – general overview, January 23, 2pm-3pm.

Our proposals in Sections 1 (Grimsby West to Barnoldby le Beck) and 2 (Barnoldby le Beck to North Thoresby), January 25, 10am-11am.

Our proposals in Sections 3 (North Thoresby to Alvingham and Keddington) and 4 (Alvingham and Keddington to Tothill), January 29, 7pm-8pm.

Our proposals in Sections 5 Tothill to Cumberworth) and 6 (Cumberworth to Burgh le Marsh), February 5, 2pm-3pm.

Our proposals at the Lincolnshire Connection Substations, Februay 15, 10am-11am.

Our proposals in Sections 7 Burgh le Marsh to Midville) and 8 (Midville to River Witham), March 2, 10am-11am.

Our proposals in Sections 9 River Witham to River Welland), 10 River Welland to B1165) and 11 (B1165 to Walpole), March5, 7pm-8pm.

Introduction to Grimsby to Walpole project proposals – general overview, March 7, 2pm-3pm.

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To register for a webinar or for any questions or information, email contact@g-w.nationalgrid.com or call 0800 0129 153.

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