Broads power lines to come down

A �661,000 project is under way to remove approximately two miles of high voltage power lines at St Benet's Level, Horning, in The Broads.EDF Energy Networks is working with the Broads Authority to deliver the project, which will see the removal of two separate power lines on The Broads, in the vicinity of St Benet's Abbey.

A �661,000 project is under way to remove approximately two miles of high voltage power lines at St Benet's Level, Horning, in The Broads.

EDF Energy Networks is working with the Broads Authority to deliver the project, which will see the removal of two separate power lines on The Broads, in the vicinity of St Benet's Abbey.

Engineers have begun installing replacement underground cables and equipment which will enable them to deactivate and remove the overhead electricity network, together with 32 wooden support poles.

The power lines currently cross wild, open grazing marsh which is visited by thousands of wildlife enthusiasts every year, attracted by the wide range of birds that return to the site. The openness of the marshland makes the overhead electricity network particularly prominent.


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The work is being carefully managed to ensure that it doesn't interfere with bird nesting patterns and the wet season, which makes the marshland inaccessible. Engineers will be able to use special all-terrain vehicles, with low pressure tyres that can be manipulated to have minimum impact on the land.

The move has been made possible thanks to a special allowance granted by electricity industry regulator Ofgem, and follows a similar project to remove over half a mile of overhead power lines from the landscape across RSPB Buckenham Marshes in the southern Broads.

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Lesley Marsden, Broads Authority landscape architect, said: “The medieval gatehouse and adjoining 18th Century windmill are so well known that they have become an icon for the county's historic landscape, so the removal of the overhead cables adjacent to the Abbey site is greatly welcomed. It will dramatically improve the landscape setting of this nationally important monument.”

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