Media ignore bigger threat to rare species from Scottish Power Renewables plans for 60m wide cable trenches gouging out the Sandlings

Paul Chandler of ‘Save our Sandlings’  was angered at the recent front page EADT article ‘Sizewell C could harm rare bats and birds claim wildlife experts’  when there was no mention of Scottish Power Renewables ill-conceived plans that would carve up more land than Sizewell C and harm wildlife and habitat for decades to come,  Paul just had to write to the editor and put the record straight:

Save Our Sandlings

Letter to East Anglian Daily Times.                                                 30th October 2019

Dear Sir,

Richard Cornwell's article on the front page of Wednesday edition 30th October covers only part of the story.  Whilst Suffolk Wildlife Trust claims "significant adverse ecological impacts" from Sizewell C plans, this project is just one of Seven harmful projects to the Suffolk Heritage Coast.  Whilst Edf's plans get the most coverage, the impact from the Six offshore windfarms planned for the Sizewell area will also cause significant damage to our fragile Suffolk heathland.  Cables from the two ScottishPower Renewable windfarms and the two National Grid Ventures European Interconnectors are planned to come ashore at Thorpeness, burrowing under the unstable cliff and then making their way to the lovely village of Friston. The cables will take a circuitous 6km route mostly avoiding AONB, SPA, SSSI, EPA and other protected habitats and special areas. Yet this never seems to be reported and is going unnoticed by your readers.

These projects will be carried out independently of each other over a 10 - 15 year time span and will cause untold misery and disruption to those living alongside, or needing to use the A12, A1094, A1069, B1122 and other local roads, through the hundreds of heavy lorry and vehicle movements.  These projects will be running alongside Sizewell C build, but cumulative impacts are not being considered.  All of these projects are deemed Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP), and as such are scrutinised by the central Planning Inspectorate and not Local Planning.  Whilst Sizewell C may or may not go ahead, as Edf still need to sort out funding as they are reportedly massively in debt, Offshore Renewables are seen as the great saviour, and the best way to achieve the UK's lower carbon footprint.  What is not being appreciated is the devastation the onshore infrastructure element is causing to our countryside. There are alternatives to building huge warehouse-size substations in the middle of the countryside. Substations can be located offshore, as is the case in Holland, with a single run of cables to shore onto brownfield sites. The campaign group Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS) have organised an online petition to the Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom calling for a change in Government Policy and to consider alternative solutions to energy grid connections, and to protect the valuable habitats AND livelihoods to communities that will be affected by these proposals.

Link to petition:

This threat to our coastal area is a National Issue being replicated elsewhere in the UK, most notably in Norfolk with Four projects; along The Wash and Humber Coast; and off Cumbria and North Wales.  Huge swathes of countryside are being dug up with wildlife displaced and habitats disturbed. The Red Deer population at Sizewell is a purer bloodline than Scottish herds as they have not interbred with other herds.  The Suffolk Sandlings also represent 1% of the total Lowland Heathland in the world. Just two examples of how important the wildlife and habitats are; when these habitats and the wildlife are gone, they are gone forever.

The Save Our Sandlings group is in favour of renewable energy as long as it is done in an environmentally and sustainable way.  The present system damages not only our ecology, but is very damaging to people’s livelihoods from tourism and casual visitors, vital to Suffolk Heaths and Coast entertainment and recreation industries.  We all want to benefit from clean green energy but it would be a shame if we have to live in an industrial wasteland to achieve it.  Please visit the Save Our Sandlings website for more information and find links to other campaign groups.

Paul Chandler Save Our Sandlings

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