Cash injection for beauty spots

A CASH injection is being made by a Suffolk energy company to help to remove overhead power lines in some of the region's most beautiful landscapes.EDF Energy has announced it will invest £2.

A CASH injection is being made by a Suffolk energy company to help to remove overhead power lines in some of the region's most beautiful landscapes.

EDF Energy has announced it will invest £2.9million over the next five years in projects to install underground cables, in place of overhead power lines, in areas of outstanding natural beauty and in national parks.

This investment opportunity has been made possible following a special allowance granted by industry regulator, Ofgem.

A steering group has been formed to include members from the Countryside Agency (Chair), Suffolk Coasts and Heaths, Dedham Vale and other areas of outstanding natural beauty in East Anglia.

Mike Dixon from EDF Energy's strategic team based in Barton Road, Bury St Edmunds, will represent the company on the Steering Group.

The group will regularly meet to evaluate and select proposals put forward by the AONBs for the removal of power lines in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the region.

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The successful proposals will be put forward to EDF Energy so the company can draw up detailed plans and costs for individual projects to remove overhead power lines.

Mr Dixon said: “This is a welcome investment opportunity which will have a positive impact on some of our most beautiful areas of countryside. We hope that by bringing together environmental experts from across the East of England the money will be invested in the most worthwhile of projects.”

Hazel Fleming from the Countryside Agency, the organisation that chairs the Steering Group, said: “The Countryside Agency is delighted to chair the Steering Group for this exciting and innovative project. The programme of works will have a positive impact on the landscape and character of these nationally important areas. We hope that other electricity distribution companies will be encouraged to set up similar projects around the country drawing on the groundbreaking work of this group.”

EDF Energy hopes to invest the full allowance of £10.6million on schemes to install power lines underground in AONB and National Parks across the East of England and the South East over the next 5 years.

Nominations will be made through AONB and National Park Officers to the Steering Group.

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