This flooding is not a one off in Friston, Suffolk. The locals have been warning the power companies that flooding is a common occurrence. Resident Ian Cook explains more:
Friston is in zone 3 (4 being the highest) for surface water running of the fields into the village.
Last weekend with the torrential rain the water ran off the fields above Grove road and down into the centre of Friston. Meanwhile even more water was pouring down the B1121 from other fields to meet the water from Grove Road and there was nowhere for it to go but down Low Road past the Chequers pub. The fields behind Low road also had water running off them into Low Road which went through several houses.
In 1993 because of the risk of flooding a culvert was dug out alongside The Green from near to the church to outside Newton House (the pink house in the photographs) and this carries away much of the water which often flows down Grove road when it rains, but not on this occasion.
SPR has only considered fluvial flooding and not addressed the problem of surface water flooding which is Friston’s problem. If the substations were built there would be 35 acres of concrete adding much more surface water and causing severe damage to Friston.
Photos © Ian M Cook
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.