One of Europe's largest industrialised 'Energy Hubs' of wind farm infrastructure. Huge electrical substations and interconnectors. A magnet for all future projects in the area. Set within a medieval village in the midst of untouched countryside. Unmitigable.
The repeated digging of over 9 km trenches at 60 metres wide gouging through the cliffs at Thorpeness, across the Suffolk Coastal Path, the Suffolk Sandlings and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A shameful environmental disaster.
Better alternative sites are available. This destruction could be avoided if ScottishPower Renewables and National Grid agreed to deliver the power to a BROWNFIELD or INDUSTRIALISED SITE.
Suffolk Coast is under Threat
These two wind farm projects are currently being officially examined by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). SEAS is calling for the Planning Inspectorate to recommend to the Secretary of State a ‘split decision’ so that:
1. The offshore turbines are recommended for consent. This will mean that no time is wasted in respect of construction of the turbines.
2. The onshore infrastructure is rejected in favour of full consideration of better locations for this infrastructure where the adverse impacts are minimised at a brownfield or industrialised site.
“We destroy plants at our peril. Neither we nor any other animal can survive without them. The time has now come for us to cherish our green inheritance, not to pillage it – for without, we will surely perish.” Sir David Attenborough
The onshore cable routes for both projects gouge through the fragile cliffs north of Thorpeness and trench 9 km inland to the substation site, the medieval village of Friston. This substation site is currently planned to be 3 TIMES THE SIZE OF WEMBLEY STADIUM and will inevitably grow if approved. Ten communities will be hemmed in by the construction of haul roads, cable routes and substations for up to 15 years and probably more. It is unclear why a coastal area with an important nature-based tourism economy, rich in wildlife, was chosen over a brownfield site more suited to industrialisation.
If these two projects are approved then they open the flood gates to an onslaught of future energy projects. There are currently seven offshore wind energy projects and interconnectors that are widely believed to be planned to connect to the Grid at Friston. With the addition of Sizewell C, this will become the largest complex of energy infrastructure in the UK.
The current plans to connect these offshore wind projects to the Grid are excessively destructive, gouging 9 km inland through the Thorpeness Cliffs, Suffolk Coastal Path, the Suffolk Sandlings and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to arrive at the substation site of Friston in the midst of untouched countryside.
Offshore wind will undoubtedly bring a positive national and regional economic impact and we welcome the regeneration possibilities for Lowestoft as a centre for the renewables industry. However, evidence suggests that new energy projects on the Suffolk coastline could impact the local tourist economy by up to £40 million per annum.
People have chosen to live in the midst of countryside free from the noise, lights and sites of an industrialised landscape. The substation site and cable corridors are no more than 30m from gardens, a Parish Church, a medieval village, a primary school and a care home. The rural character of Friston village will be torn asunder.
The Way Forward
There are better alternative sites and solutions. SEAS is calling for a ‘split decision’ so that:
1. The offshore turbines are recommended for consent.
2. The onshore infrastructure is rejected in favour of full consideration of better locations for this infrastructure at a brownfield or industrialised site.
These offshore wind projects are currently under Examination. The Secretary of State has granted a three-month extension to the Examinations of these Applications. This means the Examinations might not close until 6th July 2021. This has come as a shock and very late in the day to many people who thought the end of the examinations were in sight.
A specific objective of the SEAS campaign has been to call for a Review of offshore wind transmission infrastructure. Finally, in July 2020, a Review was called by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR).
ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) are clearly commencing ‘Ground Investigation Works’. The distress caused by this is a tiny foretaste of what is to come if we do not stop these plans.
There is massive concern that this drilling will damage the aquifers that lie under the ground here.
Campaign With Us
We are asking you to write, to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, calling for him to recommend a 'split decision' so that:
- The offshore turbines are recommended for consent.
- The onshore infrastructure is rejected in favour of full consideration of better locations for this infrastructure where the adverse impacts are minimised at a brownfield or industrialised site.
Send a Letter: 1 Victoria St., London SW1H 0ET