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Shotley skyline primed for dramatic new look

Published: 6 December 2019 - Carly Wills

A major £520,000 project to transform the Shotley skyline, is underway.

UK Power Networks, which owns the electricity network in the East of England, will remove 5.2km of 11,000-volt overhead power lines, as well as 60 poles supporting them, to improve views of the Suffolk landscape. 

The work, concluding next year, will also ensure more reliable power supplies for around 70 Shotley residents to the north of the village, and remove the risk of birds flying into cables.

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) scheme was funded by a special allowance from electricity industry regulator Ofgem, to improve the outstanding landscapes in AONBs and National Parks.

As part of the work, seven electricity substations which can be operated remotely without an engineer having to attend in person will be installed, along with 4km of underground cable.

UK Power Networks project manager Lee Bodfield said: “This part of Shotley is rightly popular with walkers and while the views are already impressive, we are keen to make them even better still through this project.

“Undergrounding power lines can make a dramatic difference to the look of the skyline. When people see them every day they perhaps blank them out, but we are removing them for real.

“We have now started some ducting work ahead of dismantling the lines next year and will continue to work with local landowners to deliver an outcome that will benefit the entire community and visitors alike.”

Simon Amstutz, manager at Suffolk Coast & Heath Area of Outstanding Beauty, said: “Sandwiched between two fabulous estuaries, the Shotley Peninsula is an area with outstanding scenery and superb views. 

“I am delighted to hear the work to underground overhead electricity cables is underway. Removing over 5km of wires and so many poles, will really enhance the natural beauty of this special place.”



 
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