At last, a journalist Laura Hughes, has taken time to visit, interview and research in to the particular problems associated with substations and how power from different wind farms can now be integrated at sea and brought to land via a reduced number of cables with brownfield sites used for clustering substations and inter-connectors.
Suffolk residents and Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council rail against plans for Nautilus onshore energy project in East Suffolk, 12 January 2022

Interview with SEAS biodiversity expert Dr. Gill Horrocks  The podcast highlights the importance of balancing our need for renewable energy with the need to look after irreplaceable landscapes that bring a richness not just to wildlife but to human habitation and to our communities and to people's quality of life.

National Grid Ventures and Nautilus Interconnector between Suffolk and Belgium.

"Greener solution tabled to replace ‘destructive’ Suffolk energy plans", New Civil Engineer, 20 September 2021

"The onshore aspects of these projects must be rejected"  The Rt Hon Dr Therese Coffey MP

Campaigners call for 'split decision' over Suffolk windfarm projects, East Anglian Daily Times, 19 July 2021

Write to Secretary of State, The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, calling for him to pronounce a 'split decision'.

The terrifying scale of ground investigation works at the substation site of Friston. A tiny foretaste of what is to come if we do not stop these plans.

Interviews with Sarah Bardwell, Andrew Heald, Jason Gathorne-Hardy, Maggi Hambling, George Pell, Jenny Hall, Tony Bone and others.

New Policy Exchange Report, touts East Coast of England as the best place for an integrated 'Pathfinder' project.

Our congratulations to the two newly elected Councillors for East Suffolk Council.  Notably both candidates support a ‘Split Decision’ as a way forward.

Latest News

SUFFOLK MP, The Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey calls for split decision

Therese Coffey responds to Nautilus Interconnector Public Consultation 

The proposed National Policy Statements for Energy also place an expectation on applicants to demonstrate how the optimum connection locations have been identified. I cannot understand how this has been achieved by National Grid  …Therese Coffey MP, 26 October 2021

Thérèse Coffey MP joins with East Anglian MPs and County Councillors to form the Off Shore Electricity Grid Task Force (OFFSET), designed to ensure our precious landscapes and communities are protected from uncoordinated energy infrastructure.  It’s “essential the infrastructure is placed in the most appropriate place, preferably on brownfield land, minimising cable corridors and the impact on the environment”.  Therese Coffey MP, 12 October 2021

“In short, in order for the Applicant’s proposals to adhere to the emerging government policy of greater offshore coordination to protect our environment – which has been backed again at the highest level in Parliament this month. Then the onshore aspects of these projects must be rejected in favour of a grid connection which offers the capacity to integrate multiple projects without having a devastating impact on local communities and our precious landscapes.”  Rt Hon Dr Therese Coffey MP’s verbal submission to the Planning Inspectorate, 28 May 2021

Therese Coffey’s Deadline 10 Submission of 7 May 2021 calls for alternative sites at Bradwell and Bramford and reaffirms her support for a ‘Split Decision’.  “SPR is well placed to integrate these projects and reduce the harm to the environment. This does not require a ring main or shared assets but runs with the government’s energy policy. It enables an alternative grid location to be brought forward with less damaging impacts on our environment and coastal communities in line with the White Paper and BEIS Review.

Therese Coffey MP’s verbal submission to the Planning Inspectorate, 24 February 2021

MP Coffey speaks of ‘devastating impact’ of windfarm on Suffolk beauty spots, East Anglian Daily Times 27 February 2021

Reform of Offshore Wind Industry backed by MPs, Eastern Daily Press, 2 November 2020

PM CONFIRMS HIS SUPPORT FOR AN OFFSHORE GRID

19 MAY 2021, PM CONFIRMS HIS SUPPORT FOR AN OFFSHORE GRID AFTER JAMES CARTLIDGE (MP SOUTH SUFFOLK) ASKED HIM THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

I thank the Prime Minister for the support he has already shown for coming forward with an offshore transmission grid, which he knows will help us to both export our surplus offshore wind to the continent and reduce the infrastructure associated with new wind farm capacity. It is very important to our communities, but there is a question over timing. Given that he has already set out an ambitious and clear timetable for increasing offshore wind generation, will he now come out with an equally ambitious timetable for delivering an offshore grid?

The Prime Minister’s response:

My hon. Friend is spot on in what he says about the need for an offshore grid. As well as building the fantastic windmills, it is vital that we bring the energy onshore in a way that has minimal disruption for local communities and enables us to maximise efficiency.” Hansard

I can tell him ((North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker) that we are certainly looking at the issue of the transmission network review and we are developing the necessary regulatory changes.” Prime Minister’s Question Time, Wednesday 24 February 2021 Hansard

These responses show backing at the highest level for a grid connection which has ‘minimal disruption for local communities’ and grid connections which ‘maximises efficiency’.

Newly Elected Councillors unanimous in supporting a 'split decision' as a way forward

JULY 2021

SEAS and SASES hosted an online hustings for the Aldeburgh and Leiston Wards.   Notably all the candidates were unanimous in supporting a ‘split decision’ as a way forward. Our congratulations to Tom Daly of the Green Party and Russ Rainger of the Conservative Party.

East Suffolk Council needs to ensure a win/win for Lowestoft’s Renewables aspirations and for the protection of Suffolk Heritage Coast’s environment and tourism. It is not an either or. Read the transcript of Russ Rainger and Tom Daly from the Hustings

Councillors for Aldeburgh and Leiston resign from East Suffolk Council. “I cannot currently give my support to the Council as I believe the manner in which East Suffolk District Council is pursuing the Energy aspirations is potentially extremely detrimental to, rather than being supportive of, the area I have had the honour to represent.  This makes it extremely difficult to adequately reflect the informed views of residents in the Ward and continue to attempt to draw attention to this Ward becoming a casualty in the drive to support the wider economic area of East Suffolk.”  Jocelyn Bond,  East Anglian Daily Times, 21 May 2021

Shock and disappointment as East Suffolk Council move to a ‘neutral’ position.  Town and Parish Councils letter, 3 February 2021

East Suffolk Council Cabinet Meeting Minutes, 5 January 2021

SEAS write to East Suffolk Council, 18 December 2020

SASES write to East Suffolk Council, 17 December 2020

Suffolk County Council Energy Infrastructure Policy and Strategic Engagement

Crossed wires: East Suffolk for first pathfinder project

8 JULY 2021, POLICY EXCHANGE

“Without reform, there is now a significant risk that local backlash against grid connections for offshore wind farm will grow, spreading from East Anglia to North Wales, Humberside, and the east coast of Scotland”  This is the conclusion to a report endorsed by the Rt Hon Dame Andrea Leadsom DBE MP and Rt Hon Amber Rudd. SEAS would agree with this conclusion. The Government must act if we are to hit their 2030 target and put the UK on a path to Net Zero.

Importantly, this report singles out East Anglia as the region for the Government to focus on with regard to greater integration and engagement with the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR) ‘pathfinder’ projects.

However this report suggests weak and regressive caveats to fall back upon. The Government should compensate communities impacted by the construction of offshore wind farms and associated infrastructure such as substations and cable routes”  SEAS rejects this suggestion.  No amount of money can compensate for the loss of our environment and rural communities. 

The report does not go far enough.  Integration in itself is not enough to protect our biodiversity and rural communities.  Only if integrated grid connections are taken forward at brownfield or industrialised sites can the impacts of offshore wind farm infrastructure be minimised.  In today’s world if our environment is not protected for our future generations, then the Government will not receive support for the UK’s decarbonisation efforts.
SEAS Analysis in Full  
SEAS Summary Analysis

Money can’t compensate for disruption caused by offshore wind, campaigners say  EADT, 8 July 2021

Crossed Wires:  Maintaining public support for offshore wind farms, Policy Exchange, July 2021

3-MONTHS EXTENSION TO THE EXAMINATIONS

1 April 2021, SEAS

On 1 April 2021, 5 days before the 6 month Examination period was due to close, the Planning Inspectorate announced that the Secretary of State had granted a 3-month extension to the Examinations. This meant the Examinations did not close until 6 July 2021.

SEAS joined with other groups to object to the extension on the grounds that it was procedurally unfair.

SEAS have limited human and financial resources. To meet the gruelling schedule of hearings we, in effect, emptied the bank accounts to pay for experts and counsel. In this context, SPR has unlimited resources and any extension can and will be funded commensurately.

The overwhelming impression we were left with is that the extension benefited SPR by giving them an unfair chance to plug the multitude of gaps that existed in their evidence. SPR has had more than ample opportunity to adduce evidence on all matters.

Deadline 13 Submission (point 18), SEAS 5 July 2021

Additional Submission, SEAS 23 June 2021

Deadline 10 Submission, SEAS 6 May 2021

Formal Objection to the Extension of the Examinations SEAS, 8 April 2021

Notification of a new deadlines The Planning Inspectorate, 1 April 2021,

Letter granting the Extension to the Examinations Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, 30 March 2021

SPR ARE USING 'GAGGING' CLAUSES IN THEIR AGREEMENTS WITH LANDOWNERS

20 March 2021, Louise Fincham

Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) are using “gagging” clauses in their agreements with landowners involved in the planning process for their offshore wind farms, EA1N and EA2. These clauses offer financial incentives to individuals and groups to withdraw objections and/or desist from objecting to their plans. SPR claims that these gagging orders are “normal commercial arrangements”. We do not believe this is the case. Development consent and planning hearings are distorted if those who might reasonably be expected to object are quietly silenced and given financial incentives to withdraw opposition.

There can be no justification for making payments or imposing conditions which undermine a statutory planning inquiry conducted in accordance with public law principles.
Read More

Negotiations with Affected Persons, SEAS Deadline 8 Submission March 2021

Therese Coffey MP speaks out, 24 February 2021

Request for Information, SEAS Additional Submission 22 February 2021

Complaint Letter, SEAS Additional Submission 14 February 2021

KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON, PRIVATE EYE

OCTOBER 2020, ‘OLD SPARKY’

EDF’s prospective new nuke at Sizewell is not the only vast energy scheme threatening Suffolk’s rural amenities and running laughable “consultation” exercises (Eyes passim). Only two miles away, Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) is right up there with EDF – on both counts.

SPR’s “East Anglia Hub” would be a 3 gigawatt offshore windfarm complex in the North Sea. Designed to produce sustainable electricity out of sight over the horizon, the plan has broad support – in principle. However, the onshore ramifications are contentious: the location for landfall of the incoming power cables, the digging of a six-mile “cable corridor”, and two large new substations. These works would cut across a stretch of Heritage Coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Special Protection Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Oddly, SPR is not intending to do the obvious and amalgamate its workings with those of EDF’s Sizewell C project next door, with its large existing site and grid connection. (Maybe SPR is as sceptical about Sizewell’s prospects as Old Sparky.) …

Old Sparky

Read more

 

The Bigger Picture Exhibition, Featuring 'Wild Summer Sea' by Maggi Hambling CBE

SEPTEMBER 2020

Thanks to Therese Tollemache, Sally Miles and Georgina King SEAS ran a pop-up art exhibition, The Bigger Picture, at Gallery152 in Aldeburgh during September 2020 with generous donations from local Artists including Maggi Hambling, Beezy Bailey and Laurence Edwards.  We are immensely grateful to all those artist and supporters who have enabled us to continue our campaign into 2021.  Thank you.

Read more

Loaded by Laurence Edwards

  ‘Paradise Walk’ Sailors Path by Beezy Bailey

Griff Rhys Jones joins celebrity campaign against offshore wind turbines onshore blight

4 MARCH 2020, BEN WEBSTER, ENVIRONMENT EDITOR, THE TIMES

The comedian and actor Griff Rhys Jones has joined a campaign to stop more than 100 coastal villages being blighted by pylons, substations and cables connected to offshore wind farms.

In a letter to The Times, he and other actors and artists with homes in Suffolk say that the “piecemeal approach” to green energy infrastructure would result in the “destruction of ancient woodland [and] rare heathland habitats” in Suffolk and Norfolk.
Read More

The Times, Letter to the Editors, Wind Power Threat,  4 March 2020
Sir, The UK’s position as a world leader in offshore wind power will be undermined if the government continues its piecemeal, out-dated approach to onshore infrastructure. Landscapes destroyed by such development are not renewable.

The government has no national strategy for the delivery of offshore power into the National Grid. In the short term, brownfield sites must be used for onshore infrastructure. This will avoid needless destruction of ancient woodland, rare heathland habitats and communities that depend on these precious landscapes. 

Celebrities speak out against offshore wind farm effects, Eastern Daily Press, 5 March 2020

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:

  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 where the adverse impacts are minimised at a brownfield or industrialised site.

Email: secretary.state@beis.gov.uk

cc: Minister.Hands@beis.gov.uk
therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk
michael.gove@communities.gov.uk
offshore.coordination@beis.gov.uk
offshore.coordination@ofgem.gov.uk
box.offshorecoord@nationalgridESO.com 
InfrastructurePlanning@communities.gov.uk
Richard.Rout@suffolk.gov.uk
craig.rivett@eastsuffolk.gov.uk
Russ.Rainger@eastsuffolk.gov.uk
Tom.Daly@eastsuffolk.gov.uk
andrew.reid@suffolk.gov.uk

bcc: info@suffolkenergyactionsolutions.co.uk

or

Send a Letter:‍ 1 Victoria St., London SW1H 0ET‍

Adders in Suffolk are almost exclusively found in the Sandlings heaths. Already an endangered species their habitats will be further fragmented and destroyed by the onshore development of these projects.

Yes to Offshore Wind Energy, Let's Do it Right

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