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Power lines to be removed to improve views for Norfolk coast walkers

Work is underway on a £135,000 project to remove overhead power lines at a tranquil Norfolk coast site popular with walkers.

From Press releases - 1 May 2019 12:00 AM

Burnham Overy Staithe power lines 2.jpg

UK Power Networks is working with the Norfolk Coast Partnership to improve the visual aspect of this timeless local landscape.

With May being National Walking Month, it is a timely boost for the estimated 10,000 walkers who use this distinctive section of the Norfolk Coast Path National Trail each year.

Locals and tourists who use routes in and around Burnham Overy will also be able to appreciate the difference, with the overhead lines removed from their view as they walk along the public right of way alongside the beautiful meadows of the River Burn.

The project will see 1.1km of overhead power lines removed as well as pieces of electrical equipment with 970m of underground cable to be installed in its place to continue safely delivering power to the area.

The project will also improve the quality and reliability of electricity supplies between Burnham Norton and Burnham Overy Staithe as the village’s networks will now be fully interconnected.

Birds also use the area, including wintering wildfowl, with some instances of bird strikes being recorded so this work will remove that risk continuing.

Around half of the required cabling will be laid and funded as part of the OFGEM-funded amenity project and the other half by UK Power Networks as part of a long-term network investment plan.

The power company has now replaced 6km of overhead power lines with underground cable in the East of England in the past four years.

UK Power Networks project manager Tony Dobing said: “This is already a stunning location and removing the power lines and electrical infrastructure will only improve it further for the many walkers who use the routes in and around this area.

“The route includes an iconic windmill with many walkers pausing at this point. As it stands this view includes electrical infrastructure, but this will be removed which will also benefit the safety of local wildlife in what is a core area of the coastal habitat.

“There are also practical reasons for this work including the fact that underground cabling should be less likely to suffer damage so local power supplies will be more reliable for the area’s residents.”

Estelle Hook, manager of the Norfolk Coast Partnership, said: “We are delighted to continue working with UK Power Networks and local landowners to deliver a number of these OFGEM-funded schemes, which allow electricity distribution companies to replace overhead lines with underground cables in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks.

“This scheme at Burnham Overy was selected because of the benefits to people’s enjoyment of this lovely little river valley and their views of its iconic watermill, windmill and marshes.”