Representation by Christine Laschet re concerns of the effects of Wind Farms EA2 and EA1N on the Parish of Aldringham cum Thorpe.
My name is Christine Laschet and I live in Aldringham.
I am the chair person of ImpACT - an informal group who seek to provide opportunities for village community activities . My father was an inshore fisherman until the late 70’s and the natural world has always been important to us and indeed his livelihood depended on it. Twenty years ago we came to live in Aldringham, attracted by its rural nature, walks and lovely countryside and proximity to the sea. We support green energy , we have our own photovoltaic panels and support many green initiatives and charities.
We all know many of our British insects, flora , fauna and birds are seriously threatened with extinction . David Attenborough has made many memorable documentaries , about the loss of habitat and the life it supports, the most recent being Extinction. His message is once they are gone they are gone forever. Our grandchildren will only know them through books and technology
It is then quite shocking to find that this special part of East Anglia is to be destroyed , not by wind power per se but by the clumsy method of linking the wind farms to the National Grid.
The National Biodiversity Database lists 876 observed species in a 1000 metre circle around the bisection point of River Hundred in Aldringahm where the trench will be dug , many of them red listed, such as Otters, glow worms, rare lichens , nightingales, swifts , woodlarks, snakes, barn owls ,kingfishers and newts and a host of others .
These rare and threatened species depend on the ecology of the River Hundred.
The location of the pinch point to shutter off the river and fell the surrounding woodland on both sides of the B1122 will destroy this valuable ecosystem and will mean the end for many of these species here which rely on this ancient habitat. Mitigation is not possible: a fragile eco system that has taken a hundred years to evolve cannot be replaced.
A few hundred metres further downstream, the River Hundred feeds the fen and the North Warren Nature Reserve where bitterns and harriers breed. Noise,effluent and disturbance from the workings will be carried by the river and pollute this fragile protected RSPB reserve as it continues its journey through to Thorpeness Mere until finally it flows into the sea.
In principle this habitat is no less important than the more well known locations elsewhere in the world. It is our ‘rain forest’ . We should be giving guardianship to these species and their habitat so that they can survive for future generations.
This is the time to pause and consider afresh the method of connecting wind power to the land.
I will Leave you with a quote from Fintan Slye. Executive Director, National Grid ESO.
Of the necessity ‘to facilitate net zero, in a way that minimises the impact of consumers and coastal communities’
Other solutions may be more expensive for the applicant but a green energy project which wipes out a complete habitat defeats the object of the exercise. I urge you to go back to the developers to insist on a more responsible resolution.
Looking at the existing regimes, questions have arisen regarding the suitability of the current regulatory regime for offshore wind. It is currently heavily concentrated on competitiveness, which is considered beneficial for consumers. That means that currently there is no sharing of infrastructure, and each wind farm has an individual connection to transmit the power that it generates. There are three material concerns with this: it is financially inefficient; it has a negative environmental impact; it may have a negative impact on coastal communities where connections make landfall.
Eight Offshore Wind Energy Projects are widely believed to be planned to connect to the National Grid at Friston (this does not include future windfarm projects as a result of the seabed leases awarded by the Crown Estate in relation to the Round 4 process). Cumulative impact means eight substations and interconnectors constructed sequentially or consecutively. Plus, the addition of a nuclear power station, one of the largest in the world. This will be the largest complex of energy infrastructure in the U.K. situated in one of the most fragile ecosystems in the U.K. These are judged to be ill-conceived plans where the process of choosing the site for the mega infrastructure hub is shown to be flawed. There are a number of better alternative brownfield sites for this designated vast complex.