Glynis Robertson, SEAS, Open Floor Hearings 3, Friday 9 October 2020
Good Afternoon, My name is Glynis Robertson and I have lived in Aldeburgh for two years
On my first visit to the local Library - I was curious to note – there were 48 large, white, lever arch folders, spread in disarray over 3 trestle tables – they were consultation documents for this major energy proposal
Over 20 boxes from ScottishPower Renewables had been unceremoniously dumped on the library without any instructions on how to display, understand or use them. SPR obviously expected the Librarians, on top of their own daily duties, to sort out this deluge of data.
On going through each folder, I realised that - there were two - almost identical sets containing reams and reams of documents - barely comprehensible to the trained eye and almost certainly incomprehensible to the layman.
This was my introduction to Wind Farms
The subsequent public consultations were a sham. A PR exercise …showing pretty pictures instead of the harsh reality - of scarred landscapes - and massive concrete constructions. These PR exercises were mainly manned by Ad men who were ill-equipped and did not have the knowledge to answer questions on technical issues nor the Data presented.
There is no doubt that it was a box ticking exercise, the aim of which, was purely to qualify for a D.C.O. examination. SPRs disingenuous behaviour is, I have come to realise, their norm…. their modus operandi. Rather than informing – obfuscation is their aim.
I would now like to move to the Applicant’s involvement with National Grid.
As we all know… National Grid have been invisible in this process…. and I am interested to know how they got the Applicant to do their bidding? What incentivised the Applicant to take on National Grid’s responsibilities? We need absolute transparency on this,
I am also at a loss to understand why National Grid’s… Friston Substation has not been classed as a separate NSIP D.C.O.
So I am asking the Examining Authorities to identify and highlight the relevant Government policy which allows a private developer, such as the National Grid, to side step the NSIP process and piggy back on another developer's D.C.O.
Furthermore, I realise that the Inspectorate will be inviting National Grid to the Issue Specific Hearings. As they have not engaged in any consultation to date, and should they decline your invitation, is there any recourse to this? Many answers are required on the outstanding questions already asked during consultation ….and more are being asked now.
Regarding LANDFALL – It is common knowledge about the friability of Thorpeness Cliffs.
Could the Applicant tell us whether they have conducted any drilling surveys at Thorpeness Cliffs to determine stability and seismic movement?
If not, when will they be doing so and will they be conducting tests before the end of the examination?
Also, what PRACTICAL surveys have been conducted into Coastal Erosion, given the Sea level is rising and Storm surges are becoming more frequent due to Climate change?
Moving on to BUSINESS AND TOURISM
During the 10-15years of construction, Aldeburgh, Snape and Thorpeness retailers fear that the high-end tourism that the towns depend on would melt away and go where it is more attractive and easier to reach.
Two comments illustrate the depth of feeling amongst the business community:
I quote…“After only a few weeks of disruption, visitors would deem Thorpeness “spoiled’ and not rebook” …putting the Dolphin Inn, The Golf Club, The Country Club and two cafes at risk.”
Another retailer states…. “In Aldeburgh, we are very dependent on locals and visitor’s footfall for our business, and we fear for ourselves and for the health of Aldeburgh High Street in general… Any disruption on the A12 and A1094 has an immediate impact on the number of visitors and therefore our turnover. Visitors value the independent shops in the High Street, the glorious coast for walking and bird watching.”
I could talk on many more issues, but there is not enough time here, so I will put them in writing.
In conclusion, I profoundly object to this application’s industrialisation of the countryside and probable demise of over 12 villages and towns … especially when there are OBVIOUS alternatives. I therefore ask the Examining Authority to recommend a ‘refusal’ of this D.C.O to the Secretary of State.
Thank you for your attention.
The Secretary of State has granted a three month extension to the Examination.
During the recent development consent order hearings (DCO), the Suffolk Energy Action Solutions group (SEAS) brought to the attention of the inspectors the fact that 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. There can be no justification for making payments or imposing conditions which undermine a statutory planning inquiry conducted in accordance with public law principles.