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Sky views to get a powerful boost

Visitors to the North Norfolk coast will get even better views of the wide open skies the county is famed for, thanks to the removal of some overhead power lines.

From Press releases - 20 February 2015 12:00 AM

Wells next to the Sea (7).jpg

Visitors to the North Norfolk coast will get even better views of the wide open skies the county is famed for, thanks to the removal of some overhead power lines.

Next month UK Power Networks is removing about one and a half kilometres of overhead lines which run across the marshes, from Wells-next-the-Sea to Pinewoods Holiday Park.

Work is currently already under way in the area to lay replacement underground cables, as part of the £115,000 project funded by Ofgem. The scheme allows electricity distribution companies to replace overhead lines with underground cables in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks.

UK Power Networks owns and maintains the vast network of overhead power lines, underground cables and substations that keep the lights on at eight million properties across East Anglia, the south east and London.

The route from Wells to Holkham Beach is incredibly popular, particularly for people walking along the sea wall or using the miniature railway. With 19 wooden poles and the associated cable, the overhead lines are clearly visible, interrupting views of the fields and fresh water marshes.

Estelle Hook, policy and partnership officer for the Norfolk Coast Partnership said:  “The Norfolk Coast Partnership has been delighted to develop this scheme in the Norfolk Coast AONB, working closely with UK Power Networks and Holkham Estate.  The removal of these overhead lines and their poles will open up the beautiful views looking from the Wells sea wall across the marshes towards Lady Anne’s Drive.
The results will also greatly benefit the large numbers of wildfowl and wintering birds which use the marsh by removing the risk of collision with the lines.”

In the five years up to 2015, £5.6million has been ear-marked for such projects in the East of England and just last year views at Felbrigg Hall were restored to those of the past thanks to the funding.

The projects are chosen by a steering group of experts from the region’s protected landscapes and chaired by Natural England. UK Power Networks provides technical support and guidance and carries out the projects.

Shaun Barrell, UK Power Networks protected areas and major projects officer, said: “We are always glad to be able to provide expertise for these projects.
We have some stunning countryside across our distribution area and it is important to us to be able to help visitors and residents alike to enjoy it at its best.
Since 2005, thanks to the special allowance from Ofgem, some of the best-loved countryside in the East and South East of England has been transformed by the dismantling of about 66 kilometres of overhead electricity lines.”