National Grid in the UK faces resistance from countryside groups over its preferred route for an 18-mile expansion of 400 kV power lines from Bramford to Twinstead in north Essex, UK, at a cost of £40-60m ($64-97m).

Opponents criticize the National Grid’s plans for their potential impact on the Dedham Vale, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. The transmission company should pay the extra costs of installing the cables underground, said Adam Sedgwick, of the Dedham Vale Society.

“Preserving our landscape is a very small price to pay, and if National Grid uses newer, proven technologies now available, the cost can only go down over time,” he said.

National Grid says most of the route runs alongside an existing overhead line, but it will look at where some cables could be placed underground. It plans to complete work by 2013.

Construction manager David Mercer described the Bramford-Twinstead connection as necessary for connecting new power generators to the grid.

“With a significant amount of generation due to close, these generators will be required to meet the country’s energy needs,” he said.

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