Natasha, Resident of Friston, Open Floor Hearings 2, Thursday 8 October 2020

My name is Natasha and today I will be urging the committee to reject this application. I am grateful for this opportunity to speak.

I am speaking today on behalf of my brother, Alex, and I who have had a happy childhood growing up over the last 20 years in our much beloved family home, which will directly border the proposed site. We are speaking as young people, the group of people whose lives and future will be most negatively affected by this development.

This is why we want to make it known that as young people, this project is not done in our names. This is not the kind of green energy that our generation wants to see, it does not provide a long-term sustainable solution to climate change.

For the record, I want to make it known that I endorse all the submissions that Michael Mahoney made on behalf of SASES and Fiona Gilmore on behalf of SEAS. I would also like to object to the holding of these hearings as virtual meetings which I firmly do not believe allows for meaningful public engagement.

My brother and I grew up walking through the beautiful countryside that would be destroyed by this project, walking our family dog down ancient paths from our house to Friston, enjoying lunch at the pub and playing on the swings on the village green.

These happy memories have always made me hopeful that my children will one day enjoy those walks, they will have the freedom to roam around the Suffolk countryside on their bikes, hear the owls at night and watch the deer in the fields behind our family home. I want my children to grow up enjoying the safe, peaceful haven around our family home, to learn to value the English countryside, and the animals and plants within it.

Hearing of Scottish power’s plans has been devastating for our family. This development would take away that future I imagined for my children and deeply affect my family’s lives.

The massive site would encroach on our home. It would cut us off from Friston and destroy the beautiful countryside that has given us so much joy and could give joy to future generations.

For 20 years we have enjoyed this amazing landscape and suddenly it will disappear.

If this project was to go ahead, the long-term and short-term negative impacts for the young people in this area will be huge. This massive industrial site will drive people away, house prices will fall, footpaths connecting houses to the local community will be destroyed, local businesses will be affected and, crucially, the mental wellbeing and future of the young people in this area will suffer.

Coronavirus has taught us many things over the last six months. Lockdown has meant that young people have been enjoying the English countryside more than ever before.

One undeniable lesson my generation has learnt from this, is that we must value and act to protect and preserve nature, the environment, and biodiversity.

Given this fact, it seems completely out of kilter with this period of nationwide reflection on the value of green space, that we then desecrate the countryside with a hugely inappropriate and out of place project, such as this one.

This project, and the way it has been conducted has left us with so many questions.

Why is the development not happening on a brownfield site? Why is it happening in a medieval village where so many people live?  Why is it happening in the middle of the beautiful countryside?

These are questions that no one seems to have an answer for.

Building on this site destroys biodiversity, it concretes over the countryside, it cuts down trees and it will destroy the local community.

This is not sustainable green energy; this is dirty green energy .

We do not deny that climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. Quite the opposite,  it is our generation that are the ones driving change for the better, for our children and our grandchildren.

But dealing with climate change and enacting effective green policy are two different things.

We welcome the government’s commitment to green energy and off-shore wind farms, but firmly believe that this must be done properly. We need proper Government oversight and coordination to ensure that green energy, which should be a positive endeavor, is not turned dirty.

We must not be left with further environmental issues and damage, because of ill-thought out government policies and procedures and an inability to create a joined-up approach across the country and the energy sector.  Why create an industrial site in the middle of pristine Suffolk countryside, when there is no absolutely no need? When technological advances and brownfield sites offer viable alternatives?

This project, and this choice of site, creates more environmental problems in the name of renewal energy. And I would argue that the green angle of this project is being used as an excuse for a lack of proper thought to how to create a truly environmentally friendly green energy project.

When you think about bringing offshore energy onshore, by creating an industrial site in a medieval village community in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, how can you argue otherwise?

It is our firm belief that we need a holistic approach to green energy that preserves our English countryside, our English heritage, for the next generation and the generation after.

My generation wants to see green energy landing on brownfield sites that don't destroy local habitats. My generation wants to see green energy that is green from root to branch, and this project is not- it is dirty green energy.

And ultimately it will be my generation, and our children and grandchildren, who will have to deal with the consequences of this ill thought out green energy project, so I urge you to listen to us.

It's important to look beyond the headlines of this project - the wind turbines - and remember why we are doing this, to create sustainable green energy that creates clean jobs and reduces greenhouse emissions.

The prime minister’s commitment to become a world leader in clean wind energy provides an opportunity to get this right, to conduct a project the nation would be proud of.

Not one that we will regret.

It is blindingly obvious that future generations will look back on this project as a mistake - a mistake whose long-lasting negative effects on the environment young people will be left with.  

I urge you to reject this application, and allow my children and grandchildren to enjoy the same beautiful, pristine countryside that I have grown up in, instead of leaving our generation, and future generations, with an even bigger mess to clean up.

Thank you.

Other news

Want to talk with the team?

Get in touch