Power lines removal completed at Shingle Street

A £425,000 project to remove overhead power lines to transform Shingle Street in Suffolk, for its wildlife, visitors and residents has been completed.

UK Power Networks which owns and operates the electricity network in the East of England removed around 3.3km of 11,000-volt overhead power lines and associated equipment, after installing 3.8km of underground cables to improve the outstanding landscape at this remote coastal location within Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

As well as improving views, the work has eliminated the risk of birds flying into overhead lines and allows UK Power Networks to continue to safely deliver power to the area. The scheme was funded by a special allowance from electricity industry regulator Ofgem, to improve the landscape in AONBs and National Parks.

The coastal hamlet with around 40 households taking power from this section of line, should now have more reliable supplies with the new underground cables better able to withstand any winter storms. UK Power Networks project manager Trevor Phillips said: “This is already a stunning location and removing the power lines has only served to improve it further. There were practical reasons for this work including the fact that underground cabling should be less likely to suffer damage when high winds hit this quite exposed area. We are pleased to be part of a completed project that has run on budget, and that will make such a positive long-term difference to east Suffolk.”

Simon Amstutz, AONB team manager for Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, said: “We are delighted that after working with the local community and UK Power Networks on this project the undergrounding at Shingle Street is now complete. The overhead wires and poles which interrupted the views enjoyed in this area are gone, removing visual clutter from such a natural, wild and special place. Shingle Street is a delightful and special place and this work provides a long-lasting improvement to the views within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”.

Catherine Lindsay-Davies from the Shingle Street Settlement Company said: “’The residents of Shingle Street are delighted that this project is nearing completion and that the landscape will be restored to its natural and unspoiled beauty by the removal of the overhead cables, and for the beneficial impact their removal will have on our wildlife. Due to our exposed location we have also had to contend with many power cuts over the years, so we look forward to a power supply with far fewer interruptions.”

For further information please contact UK Power Networks press office on 0330 159 1712.

Notes to editors: UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England. Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines. UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012). The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet us @UKPowerNetworks

By Cathy Smith on November 8th, 2019