My name is Mya Manakides and I am a Friston resident.
In preparation for todayʼs meeting I was afraid of sounding like a ʻNIMBY.ʼ
However, having reviewed my notes, I can now say, with confidence, that the adverse effect of locating the worldʼs largest substation for offshore wind power in the rural village of Friston, outweighs any benefit to the nation.
We all know the history of the EA1 project and how, when SPR took sole possession of that project, it managed to reduce its output by 41%, simultaneously wiping out the ʻfuture proofingʼ capacity of its cable corridor.
In the spring of 2016, SPR initiated its conversation with the Planning Inspectorate for EA1N & EA2.
SPRʼs routing strategy for these projects was to follow those of EA1. However, in September 2017 everything changed and our nightmare began.
National Grid for their own reasons, changed the connection point for both projects from Baudsey to the Sizewell/Leiston area.
The applicant confirmed that a substation would be required for each project, and an additional one for National Grid. National Gridʼs infrastructure is crucial to the viability of these projects.
I believe that SPR choose the Friston site for 3 reasons:
-1. Itʼs proximity to the existing pylons,
-2. The availability of a parcel of land that could be obtained without compulsory purchase
-And 3, and most importantly, the potential for expansion of this site.
The substation proposals sit between the pylons and the village. Grove Wood actually encloses the proposal within the village.
However, the area to the other side of the pylons is vast and as such, with the National Gridʼs infrastructure in place there would be the potential for the Friston site to expand and expand. This is something that must be understood in order to evaluate the proposed choice of site and the current proposals.
SPR provided us with this image of the substations from the village green. You can see how the substations loom over Friston.
SPR has not been able diminish our concerns and any attempt to do so has been duplicitous.
Our concerns include:
The change in character to the village and the incompatibility of such a development in this area,
The harm to the homes surrounding the site,
The desecration of the view from & to the grade 2* listed church, noise & light pollution,
Loses to the local economy,
Loss of footpaths & rights of way,
Inability to achieve meaningful mitigation,
Harm to the environment,
And of course the Cumulative Impact of all other projects
The harm that will be caused at Thorpeness & the Sandlings, along the cable route and to Friston is obvious.
Every aspect of this project adversely affects the greater community and will cause considerable and irreparable harm to Aldeburgh, Snape, Thorpeness and our environment. We will lose the meaning and significance of our local.
As a village and a community we have learnt a lot. Fundamentally, we are not alone in the challenges we face. Numerous other coastal communities and rural landscapes are under threat from similar proposals.
We all know that the demand for offshore wind power is continuing to grow and that both Industry and government are finally beginning to react to the consequences of this.
I refer to the National Gridʼs recent publication Unlocking Offshore Wind and the up coming BEIS review.
There has been one good thing to come out of this and that is that I have got to know my neighbours better and these are really good people, really good. If it came down to keeping the lights on for the nation, they would take the hit but that is not what this project is about. This is an outdated, 1st generation solution that is not green and not sustainable.
We donʼt want this to be our future.
I support everything SEAS, SASES and all the parish councils have to say. Thank you.
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.