MINISTERS must reconsider plans to build a network of pylons across the East of England, a Conservative former minister has said.

Former home secretary and Witham MP Priti Patel urged the Government to meet with campaigners from the East of England and consider an undersea alternative to National Grid’s East Anglia Green project.

The project is aimed at ensuring new windfarms and the Sizewell C nuclear power station planned in the region have a reliable connection to the grid.

Ms Patel told the Commons: “The minister will know the East of England does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to renewables. We are investing in turbines and offshore wind.

“But he will also know communities are horrified at National Grid’s plans to build pylons across the entire region, which we know will connect and increase our energy supply.

“They favour an offshore grid. Can I ask the minister very directly, what is he doing to work with the community to deliver this option?”

Energy minister Andrew Bowie replied: “I am delighted to inform her I will actually be visiting East Anglia next week to meet with communities in the area and, indeed, met with producers and manufacturers yesterday to see what they can do to mitigate the impact on her local community and other communities in the region.”

National Grid has previously claimed the overground option, which would run between Norwich in Norfolk and Tilbury in Essex, would be cheaper than the offshore proposals.

An independent review into the East Anglia Green project was announced in March, aimed at evaluating other options for the 110-mile long line of pylons.