Cllr Steve Gallant,
Leader, East Suffolk Council,
4 Canning Road,
3rd February 2021
Dear Cllr. Gallant,
We the undersigned town and parish councils were surprised and disappointed to learn of East Suffolk Council’s decision to move towards a more ‘neutral’ position on the onshore elements of the above projects currently under examination with the Planning Inspectorate.
The communities we represent are the ones most directly affected by SPR’s proposals for its sub-stations, cable routes and landfall infrastructure. We therefore feel it reasonable to have expected to be consulted about such a decision and the reasoning behind ESC’s change of position from ‘object’ to being ‘neutral’ overall, and specifically on the mitigation and compensation which you appear to have negotiated. For some councils the first they knew about ESC’s change of position was when they read ESC’s statement in the EADT the day after their council meeting.
We understand that there is no statutory requirement for East Suffolk Council to consult with town and parish councils on these matters. However, in the interests of local democracy and in the spirit of maintaining good relations, particular at this difficult time when local town and parish councils are doing so much to assist their communities, we hope very much that you will take the opportunity to brief us all on the circumstances that led ESC to change their position, and to listen to our views and those of our residents regarding the significant harm still caused by these proposals.
With best wishes.
Cllr Tim Beach (Chair of Snape Parish Council)
Snape PC, Church Road, Snape, IP17 1SZ
On behalf of:
Aldeburgh TC, Aldringham-cum-Thorpe PC, Benhall & Sternfield PC, Friston PC,
Knodishall PC, Leiston-cum-Sizewell TC, Snape PC
The Secretary of State has granted a three month extension to the Examination.
During the recent development consent order hearings (DCO), the Suffolk Energy Action Solutions group (SEAS) brought to the attention of the inspectors the fact that Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) are using “gagging” clauses in their agreements with landowners involved in the planning process for their offshore wind farms, EA1N and EA2. These clauses offer financial incentives to individuals and groups to withdraw objections and/or desist from objecting to their plans. There can be no justification for making payments or imposing conditions which undermine a statutory planning inquiry conducted in accordance with public law principles.