East Anglian MPs are demanding that National Grid proves it's serious about looking at the possibility of laying a new cable at sea in a bid to avoid a new line of pylons scarring the region's countryside.

There is widespread opposition to the power company's plans for a new line of high-voltage cables from near Norwich to Tilbury on Thames estuary via the main sub-station at Bramford near Ipswich.

National Grid says the East Anglia GREEN project is vital for the country's future energy needs to carry power generated by offshore windfarms to the busiest areas of the south east.

But campaigners and local MPs have pointed out that in other parts of the country the power has been transferred by undersea cable - not huge new lines of pylons.

A meeting was held last week between MPs from Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, National Grid and government energy minister Graham Stuart at which the MPs were expecting to hear that the company were looking hard at the offshore alternative.

However Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter, who took part in the meeting remotely, said they felt that National Grid were only paying lip service to the offshore option - and were still pressing ahead with the pylons.

He said: "It felt that the first and really only concern was their shareholders interests - when it's clear there are many other factors at play."

The MPs felt National Grid might only be "going through the motions" in its look at offshore cables - preparing a short report which backed up its curent position.

He said Mr Stuart was left in no doubt about strength of feeling among MPs and their constituents.

South Nortfolk MP Richard Bacon agreed that concern was rising. He said: “I hope that having so many local MPs supporting the campaign from across the whole region, including present and former cabinet ministers, will cause government to think again.

"I have never attended a meeting at which senior colleagues directed quite such anger at the government and the electricity operator.”

A spokeswoman for National Grid said: “Our proposals for East Anglia Green are essential to carry more clean energy to homes and businesses across the UK, and to help the country reach net zero by 2050.

"The UK Government and our regulator Ofgem require us to develop proposals which represent value for money to consumers, while being in line with current planning policy and licence obligations.”