Good afternoon, Thank you for allowing me to speak with you.
My name is Henrietta Palmer and I live in Sizewell.
I am glad the panel is able to consider the cumulative impact of ALL of the projects proposed for this area…
I have lived in Sizewell since 2013. Of course I am glad that SPRs substation development isn’t coming to Sizewell but Friston is no better a place to put these substations and it will still impact on people living in Sizewell and all the holidaymakers and locals who use it. Despite the prescence of 2 Nuclear Power stations, Sizewell remains an unspoilt Suffolk fishing village with a thriving holiday industry.
There is the impact on the roads for a start. I dont think SPR has put forward much of a traffic plan yet, and it hasn’t addressed any of the issues around safety coming from them sharing the Sizewell Gap Road with the nuclear power station traffic.
Sizewell A&B have one exit/entrance, instead of the 2 it should have; Sizewell village only has one exit too… its called the Sizewell Gap. General nerves are kept in check by the knowledge that we can take the unofficial escape route on the unadopted road from Sizewell to Thorpeness known as the Sizewell Hall Road. SPR proposes blocking this off for some time as it brings the cables in via Thorpeness, across this road and this adds to our feeling of unease...
Sizewell Gap is the only road in and out of the village. Everyone uses it. Sizewell A and B only have one entrance and if their planning application is passed, for the first 2 years, this entrance (at the bottom of my garden), will also be the entrance for the new site of Sizewell C . This means that for 2 years Sizewell Gap will have to accommodate:
Scottish Power want to add to the traffic on this road; they want to add a haul road but have made no calculation as to how this will impact on the other road users and have so far shown scant regard for our safety, or acknowledged how the increased traffic on Sizewell Gap will impact on all of the tourist businesses here.
As well as the issues of traffic there are so many other issues . The unsuitability of this coastline to make landfall is another issue; the cliffs at Thorpeness are eroding… a walker was killed by a landslide in 2018; and the seabed is constantly shifting. Greater Gabbard wind farm has trouble now with at least 4 freespans that have developed, meaning that cable is no longer lying flat on the seabed and is a danger to fishing and shipping. The Coraline crag lying off Thorpeness and Sizewell is what protects the Sizewell area and thus the Nuclear Power stations from coastal erosion. Not many of the energy projects that want to come to Friston will be all able to make landfall, and come in through the cliffs; those which do will compromise the safety of the whole nation by fiddling with the Crag so why bother with any of them?
I'm sorry that you cannot see the campaign banner that we made; it's not pretty but we were hoping to bring it to the open floor hearings to fully acquaint you with the scale of what these SPR plans would mean for the area. We plotted on a large sheet all of the roads that SPR and EDF are going to use should both their planning applications be approved …..every single road in a 5 mile radius would be used by HGV lorries all day and every day for years, and that doesn't take into account all of the other projects. Every week seems to bring news of another energy company prowling the area to find a cable route from the coast via back gardens to Friston.
If this substation in Friston wasn’t a real possibility then we could all have a laugh about it but its not funny; This consultation has caused a great deal of distress.
In campaigning against this development I have been asked several times “where else would you put it ? “ In fact it was one of the more ridiculous questions Scottish Power asked us all. I hope they are not accusing people in this area of being NIMBY because we have said we are not willing to house EVERYTHING thrown at us. I just want to remind them there are a couple of nuclear power stations at the end of my garden! As a matter of fact, we have suggested several alternative sites .. Brantham Industrial Site and Bradwell Nuclear Site being just 2.
Essentially these substations should be consigned to the peace and quiet of a brownfield site somewhere, or the plan scrapped in favour of embracing the new technology whose development has grown apace with the absurdity of these proposals.
I endorse the position and proposals made by SEAS, SOS and SASES.
And I agree with Michael Mahony of SASES, SPRs proposals are a Trojan Horse from National Grid, hoping to bulldoze a way through for a dozen other projects they hope to dump on the area.
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.